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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 637
ANSWERED ON:  20.11.2019
Death of Indian Workers Abroad
Uttam Kumar Nalamada Reddy
Will the Minister of



EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:-


(a ) the number of reported deaths of Indian migrant workers in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and UAE since 2014 and the details of these deaths;

(b) the number of complaint received from Indian migrant workers in these countries regarding poor working conditions and mistreatment;

(c) the details of action taken and the status of these complaints; and

(d) whether any measures are being considered or have been implemented to ensure decent working conditions for Indian migrant workers in these countries and if so, the details thereof?


ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN]

(a) As per available information, the number of Indians, including the migrant workers, who have reportedly died in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and UAE since 2014 is given as below -

<pre>
S. No.
Name of Country
The number of reported death of Indians in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and UAE


2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019 (till October 2019)
1
Bahrain
175
223
186
237
234
180
2
Kuwait
559
611
576
591
659
584
3
Oman
519
520
547
495
526
402
4
Qatar
279
198
281
282
285
286
5
Saudi Arabia
2427
2694
2766
2664
2551
1920
6
United Arab Emirates
1429
1540
1657
1637
1759
1451

</pre>

(b) As per information given by our Missions and Posts in the Gulf countries, the number of complaints by Indian workers due to various reasons are as follows –

<pre>
S. No.
Country
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
1
Bahrain
821
833
693
792
734
585 (13.11.19)
2
Qatar
3943
3868
2747
3328
3244
1883 (Oct)
3
Saudi Arabia
3732
2921
8912
8447
8272
4286(12.11.19)
4
Oman
1358
1097
2245
4144
3594
2308(Oct)
5
Kuwait
3033
3493
4187
4481
3287
3496(Oct)
6
United Arab Emirates
1718
1936
2368
3756
2153
2493(Oct)
</pre>

(c) Most of the complaints received from Indian workers are regarding non-payment of salaries and denial of legitimate labour rights and benefits such as non-issuance/renewal of residence permits, non-payment/grant of overtime allowance, weekly holidays, longer working hours, refusal to grant exit/re–entry permits for visit to India, refusal to allow the worker to return to India on final exit visa after completion of their contracts and non-provision of medical and insurance facilities, not being paid compensation upon death etc.

On receipt of complaints from or on behalf of the emigrants, the same are addressed quickly by the Indian Missions by taking them up with the concerned local government authorities for resolution. Complaints pertaining to employment related issues are taken up by the Indian Missions with the concerned foreign employer/ Labour Department and other concerned officials in that country for prompt redressal. Whenever required and possible the embassy officials even contact the employers for resolution of grievances.

(d) The Government has taken several steps to safeguard the interests of Indian emigrants in the Gulf and other ECR countries. These include:

(i) The on-line MADAD portal enables the emigrant workers and their family members to register their consular grievances on-line and track their redressal.

(ii) Grievances related to Overseas Employment in notified Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries can also be lodged on e-Migrate portal directly by emigrants/relatives or through the Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendras (PBSK). These grievances are settled by respective jurisdictional Protectors of Emigrants (PoEs) as per laid down procedures.

(iii) Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendras (PBSK) have been set up in New Delhi and at Dubai (UAE), Sharjah (UAE), Riyadh, Jeddah (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), to provide guidance and counseling on all matters pertaining to overseas Indian workers.

(iv) Kshetriya Pravasi Sahayata Kendras (KPSK) have also been setup in Kochi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Lucknow to assist emigrants or their relatives to redress their problems/complaints regarding overseas employment.
(v) Missions have also established 24x7 Helplines and Toll Free Helplines for the benefit of Indian workers to seek help.

(vi) Grievances brought to the notice of the Ministry and the Missions through social media, including twitter, are also promptly addressed.

(vii) The Missions utilise the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) to provide assistance to overseas Indian nationals in times of distress. The guidelines of the Indian community welfare fund have been revised recently to expand the scope of welfare measures and to cover three key areas, namely, assisting overseas Indian nationals in distress situations, community welfare activities and improvement in consular services.

(viii) Labour and Manpower Cooperation MoUs/Agreements are in place with the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that provide the institutional framework to comprehensively discuss and review labour related issues. In accordance with the Labour and Manpower Cooperation/Agreement, Joint Working Group (JWG) meetings are held on regular basis to discuss various labour related issues.

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