South Asia

Nepal government lifts Iraq working ban

Bodies of the murdered Nepalese workers in 2004
Image caption The murders of the workers caused shock in Nepal

The government in Nepal has lifted a ban that prohibited Nepalis from seeking work in Iraq.

The ban had left 30,000 Nepalis already in Iraq at risk of losing their jobs because of a demand by the US for contractors to prove that their staff were in Iraq legitimately.

The ban was introduced in 2004 when 12 Nepalis working in Iraq were killed.

Correspondents say the comparatively high wages made tens of thousands defy the ban.

The government said it took the decision to protect the interests of migrant workers in Iraq after the US Central Command directed all companies working for it to remove workers not in compliance with local, international and US laws.

It is estimated that most of the 30,000 Nepalese working in Iraq got there through illegal channels.

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