“Demand for Indian domestic workers abroad”

New Delhi: There is demand for Indian workers of various skill sets such as housemaids and home nurses abroad, including in the Gulf countries, Malaysia, Singapore and in some European nations, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vyalar Ravi said Wednesday.

Replying to questions in Lok Sabha, Ravi said the recruitment of home nurses with educational qualification above Class 10, and also those migrating to Emigration Clearance Not Required (ECNR) countries, is not regulated under the Emigration Act, 1983.

“As such, no data is available in this regard with the ministry,” Ravi said.

He also noted that the government policy was to facilitate orderly and legal emigration of Indian workers including women; discourage illegal and irregular migration; and ensure the protection and welfare of emigrants in accordance with the Emigration Act and rules made for Emigration Clearance Required (ECR) passport-holders’ emigration to 17 ECR-notified countries.

For the protection of women domestic workers, the government has laid down a minimum age restriction of 30 years for eligibility to migrate and made it mandatory for the employment contract to be pre-attested by the Indian Mission, he said.

The employer is also required to provide a prepaid mobile phone and make a deposit of a security deposit of $2,500 with the Indian Mission.

Ravi informed parliament that the government has signed memorandum of understanding on labour with seven countries, including Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Malaysia, to lay down the framework for bilateral cooperation for the protection and welfare of workers.

Besides, the government has also signed and operationalised social security agreements to safeguard the social security concerns of Indians employed abroad with eight countries — Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Denmark, the Netherlands and South Korea.