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Policy Advocacy Efforts and Outcomes for Rights of Migrant Workers Impacted by Covid-19

Knowledge Platform

Policy Advocacy Efforts and Outcomes for Rights of Migrant Workers Impacted by Covid-19

As COVID-19 cases hiked in major destination countries; uncertainty loomed over hundreds of thousands of Nepali migrant workers battling job losses, wage theft, discriminatory ill-treatment, stigmatization, health hazards, obstructed mobility, and visa-residence and labor permit expiry. Despite state obligations under international, constitutional, and domestic legislative enactments; the Nepali government displayed an undue delay in protecting Nepali migrant workers stranded in destination countries. Responding to such a crisis, People Forum for Human Rights (People Forum) - an organization of lawyers working in labor migration since 2005 A.D. – employed multi-faceted interventions. This report informs on the policy advocacy efforts led by People Forum during the pandemic-induced lockdown period (i.e. post-April 2020) to catalyze governmental action in rescuing, repatriating, and re-integrating Nepali migrant workers. The report documents the substantial impact created by People Forum’s Public Interest Litigation, free legal aid, policy paper, media mobilization, and other advocacy efforts towards formulating new policies, procedures, and programs necessitated by Covid-19; and strengthened implementation of existing ones. Out of 425 submissions from 114 countries, this intervention from People Forum has been acknowledged by the World Justice Project through an Honourable Mention in the World Justice Challenge 2021: Advancing the Rule of Law in a Time of Crisis!

Date of Publication
Type of Resource
Target Audience
Advocate Shom Luitel
Advocate Apurba KC
Geographic Scope
Workstream Output
Regional Review Process
SDG.8 - Decent Work And Economic Growth
SDG.16 - Peace, Justice And Strong Institutions
Civil society actors in migration
COVID-19 and migration
Human rights
Migrant rights

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).