KUWAIT CITY, Sept 25: A specialist in domestic labor affairs Bassam Al-Shammari says, “The phenomenon of evacuating domestic workers present inside the embassies of some foreign recruiting countries via private jets has intensified. The continuation of such a heinous phenomenon threatens Kuwait’s reputation and affects its image regionally and internationally”, reports Al- Jarida daily. Al-Shammari went on to say, “The Philippines has decided to send a plane to evacuate some workers sheltering in the embassy on September 29. This is a serious indication that its continuation will cause severe damage to the labor market in general but particularly the domestic labor market.
There are labor disputes between these workers and their employers that have not been resolved amicably, which revolve around refusing to work or absconding. Are the local laws invalid or ineffective in finding radical solutions to such outstanding problems? In fact, the continued harboring of domestic workers inside the embassies’ shelters is blatant evidence of a wide flaw in the laws and the relevant decisions or the way they are applied. This phenomenon is one of the main reasons why Kuwait has become a country that repels migrant workers, especially domestic workers, especially in light of the rapid spread on social media of the images of these workers inside their embassy shelters.
Most of the new domestic workers refuse to work in Kuwait after seeing pictures of their female colleagues, and hearing of their suffering, the difficulty in obtaining their dues, and the lack of ease for them to return to their countries after the expiry of their contracts. Even though more than two years have passed since the decision to transfer the affiliation of domestic workers from the Ministry of Interior to the Public Authority for Manpower, the decision did not achieve the desired goal of preserving the rights of these workers, improving Kuwait’s image externally, and providing radical solutions to the outstanding problems, as well as for ensuring the opening of new recruitment markets to fill the severe shortage that we are currently experiencing from this workforce”.
Al-Shammari called on the decision-makers to re-study and evaluate the impact of the transfer process to determine whether it has achieved its purpose or not, in light of the general deterioration witnessed by this important file.