Kuwait plans domestic labour pact with India

Move comes amid emerging dispute over rules for employing domestic helpers from the Philippines

Cairo: Kuwait plans pacts with four Asian countries to recruit domestic labour under clear regulations, Kuwaiti Minister of Social Affairs and State for Economic Affairs Hend Al Sabeeh has said.

The move comes amid a reported dispute over rules for employing domestic helpers from the Philippines.

Al Sabeeh named India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as the other three countries.

“It is expected to recruit domestic helpers from India, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Bangladesh,” she said, according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al Naba.

The minister said that relevant agreements will be signed with authorities of the four countries after the holiday of the Muslim Eid Al Adha festival due later this month.

“This will ensure smooth recruitment of the labour and related regulations.”

Al Sabeeh disclosed that a new online system is being developed based an application allowing the employer to select the house maid based on preferred nationality and age requirements. Fees will also paid via the application. “This way, we will be able to eliminate any corruption and guarantee rights of all sides,” she said.

“Work is also being done to handle illegal recruitment offices that do not meet regulations.”

Last month, head of the Kuwaiti Union of Domestic Labour Office, Khaled Al Dakhnan, said that an earlier pact on domestic labour between the Gulf country and the Philippines is in peril after Manila has demanded Kuwaiti recruitment offices to deposit an insurance fee of 10,000 dollars in banks to pay Filipinos in case of terming their contracts or withholding their salaries.

In May, both countries signed the agreement regulating the employment of domestic workers in Kuwait after their ties deteriorated over a row on treating Filipino employees and Kuwait’s expulsion of the Philippine ambassador.

Earlier this year, the Philippines banned its nationals from working in Kuwait over alleged abuses after a dead Filipina was found stuffed in a freezer inside an apartment in Kuwait.

The ban was later lifted amid a thaw in ties between the two countries.


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