According to the Arab Times “Farwaniya police rescued three Filipina housemaids who were detained by an Asian woman for four days inside an apartment in Farwaniya, reports Al-Rai daily.” When the police arrived at the location, “they noticed one of the women attempting to jump out of the window and they asked her to get back inside. After taking legal procedures, police raided the apartment and rescued the three housemaids.”
The kidnapped Filipina maids “informed the police that the Asian woman lured them through Facebook to run away from their sponsors as she could offer them good jobs. She sent a taxi to them and they were taken to the apartment where they were kept behind locked doors. Police are looking for the Asian woman” (Arab Times, Dec 5, 2015). What is curious about this recent case of Asian maids’ abuse is that another “Asian woman,” according to Al- Rai daily, allegedly committed it! What is unfortunate however concerning the issue of maid abuse is the lack of appropriate media focus on cases of domestic helpers being abused by some of their compatriots.
It is of course illogical to argue that most abused maids are victimized by some of their colleagues and coworkers, however, we need to underline all aspects of this ongoing human tragedy: maids’ abuse.
For example, it is necessary for our local media to focus more on the issue of some expats illegally assisting absconding and runaway domestic helpers in order to help them avoid arrest by police. If one can argue here that abusing maids is an inhumane and a criminal act, one also needs to reiterate the fact that kidnapping maids and locking them in an apartment, trafficking them at the hands of some of their own kind are also criminal acts.
I do sympathize with domestic workers who went through extremely difficult and painful experiences, victimized by some inhumane sponsors. However, instead of only prioritizing the coverage of such crimes in our local media, we should not neglect to look at “the other side of the story.” In other words, our local media and even international human rights organizations need to take into account those situations when some domestic workers do abuse their sponsors. The suspect in the recent maids’ abuse and kidnapping, and perhaps her alleged accomplice the taxi driver are not either expat or Kuwaiti sponsors.
Therefore, it is necessary to reveal all aspects of maids’ abuse: luring domestic helpers to run away from their sponsors, kidnapping them, exploiting them through illegal recruiting are just the tip of an ongoing tragedy of abuse. I call upon our government to increase the number of its security campaigns against illegal domestic helpers’ trade.
By Khaled Aljenfawi