Friday , December 14 2018

Ethiopian domestic workers ban from Kuwait ‘remains effective’

Kuwait and Ethiopia to sign agreement on hiring workers next month

KUWAIT CITY, March 14: The Interior Ministry’s decision to ban Ethiopian domestic workers from entering the country remains in effect, reports Al-Rai daily quoting sources. Sources vehemently denied rumors that Ethiopian domestic workers are now allowed to enter country, affirming no such decision has been taken so far.

Meanwhile, Fadel Ashkanani said the Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO) has signed an agreement with the Ethiopian Union for Employing Workers in the presence of Ethiopian Deputy Minister of Labor Beihan Ashenafi. He disclosed the agreement allows the domestic labor offices in Kuwait, including Durrah Company, to hire Ethiopian workers. He added the agreement signed with Addis Ababa states that Ethiopian domestic workers will come back to Kuwait four years after banning them.

He affirmed the agreement will help reduce the cost for hiring domestic workers. Commenting on the issue, sources pointed out the return of Ethiopian domestic workers to Kuwait is a sovereignty issue and the decision in this regard is controlled by the Interior Ministry.

Sources revealed acting Director General for Residency Affairs at the Interior Ministry Major General Abdullah Al- Hajri and the Ethiopian labor minister met last week but they did discuss the return of Ethiopian domestic workers to Kuwait.

Sources clarified the two officials talked about the grace period given to Residency Law violators and ways to facilitate procedures for the concerned Ethiopians to either leave Kuwait or rectify their status.

In addition, an argument erupted recently concerning KUDLO which was headed by Ashkanani until the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) issued a ‘To Whom It May Concern’ certificate withdrawing the position from Ashkanani and forming a new board of directors headed by Khalid Al-Azmi according to the decision of the general assembly of the union.

This cast doubts on the agreement announced by Ashkanani who refused to acknowledge PAM’s certificate, asserting that he will continue serving as board chairman of the union On the other hand, Secretary of the union Ali Shamwa explained Ashkanani is legally responsible for signing documents after PAM’s issuance of the certificate.

However, the legal capacity of Ashkanani as board chairman was cancelled as soon as PAM issued the certificate acknowledging the current board of directors. Furthermore, Annahar daily has quoted Ethiopian Ambassador to Kuwait AbdulAziz Ahmed as saying that Kuwait and Ethiopia will sign an agreement on hiring Ethiopian workers next month. Ahmed informed the daily that an Ethiopian delegation will arrive to Kuwait next month in order to discuss details of the agreement, as well as the rights and conditions of workers. He added Kuwait is keen on enforcing the agreement as soon as possible.

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