As countries in Eastern Europe increasingly face the problem of lack of workforce, they are turning to a new source of workers – Asian countries, especially Nepal. But often those workers are abused on the way during their journey to Europe and exploited in the destination countries, which don't have a long tradition of hosting migrant workers. 

This investigation shows the journey of Nepali workers to Europe, from the moment they are recruited to their working and living conditions in Poland, Czech Republic and Romania. 

A cross-border team of journalists from France, Romania, Poland, Nepal and Czech Republic investigated how Nepali workers are recruited to work in Eastern Europe, and who benefits from the recruitment process and their work once they are employed. The journalists discovered that many of them paid around 4,000 – 5,000 euros to agencies that promote the new «European dream», with a better life and big salaries, so that they could help their families back in Nepal.

The team also looked at different regulations on foreign workforce and how those translate directly into working and living conditions of Nepalese in different European countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic also revealed the lack of safety net for those workers. Many of them find themselves stuck in foreign countries, sometimes without a salary or sick leaves.

Photo: © Andreea Campeanu

Team members

Marine Leduc

Marine Leduc is a French freelance journalist and media literacy educator working in France and Romania. 

Marine Leduc

Ula Idzikowska

Ula Idzikowska is a Polish journalist and a reporter.

Ula Idzikowska

Abhaya Raj Joshi

Abhaya Raj Joshi is a journalist based in Kathmandu, Nepal.

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