Special Capacity Building Program on the Rights of Migrant Workers - Nepal (2013-2014)

Program Report

Program Dates: February 2013 – February 2014

Location: Kathmandu, Nepal


In 2012, the Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) was awarded the tender to design and implement a Special Capacity Building Program on the Rights of Migrant Workers for advocates in Nepal.  The program was developed and delivered in collaboration with Migrant Forum Asia (MFA), a long-term partner of DTP, and held in Kathmandu, Nepal.  The program was funded by the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC) and was seen as a part of its wider programming to promote respect for the rights of migrant workers.  The program was implemented during 2013, with the final module being delivered in February 2014.  It proved to be a remarkably rich program, drawing on expertise from Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Middle-East and engaging with recruitment agencies and government officials, including the diplomats of foreign countries.

This program was a response to the human rights abuses associated with the extraordinary growth in labour migration from Nepal over the last decade.   This movement of people, an estimated 400,000 Nepalese leaving to work overseas each year, has strained the capacity of the government in Nepal to ensure that the rights of migrant workers are respected and protected before they depart for work and on their return, and to effectively represent their interests in countries of destination.

This project responded to requests from some of these groups for a training program that could build knowledge of migrant workers’ rights in international law, and understanding of how they could engage the international human rights system to influence policy and practice affecting migrant workers in Nepal and countries of destination. The project acknowledged the knowledge and experience of Nepal’s broader human rights, and anti-trafficking movements.  The design of the program sought the transfer of that knowledge to those working for the rights of migrant workers – and the engagement of the mainstream human rights movement in addressing the abuses experienced by Nepal’s growing army of migrant workers.