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Report saying Kuwait a nightmare for maids denied

Embassy not received any complaints: envoy

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 30: In response to the claims that Kuwait is a “nightmare” for African domestic workers particularly a media report issued in Gabon which declared that women from Africa, Asia and Latin America are sold and treated like slaves in Kuwait, Assistant Undersecretary for African Affairs at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Hamad Al-Meshan insisted that such claims and reports are false, reports Al-Rai daily.

He stressed that the number of domestic workers in Kuwait from Gabon is very less – about 10 to 15, and these domestic workers have not been involved in any such incidents. Al-Meshan indicated that the Embassy of Kuwait in Gabon has not received any complaints regarding these domestic workers, adding that the media report was aimed at gaining electoral benefits. He said the previously recorded incidents were not many but they did not involve any Gabonese expatriates, adding that Kuwait does not have any domestic laborers from Latin America, as mentioned in the report.

Al-Meshan revealed that Sierra Leone asked Kuwait to suspend issuance of visas for its citizens until they come up with a method to bring them to Kuwait. Meanwhile, the Dean of Diplomatic Corps in Kuwait and the Ambassador of Senegal Abdulahad Mbaki said the few incidents that involve Africans do not represent a widespread phenomenon but are individual cases. He insisted that the reason behind these few cases is the lack of coordination between the Kuwaiti embassies in those countries and the travel agencies, stressing that these cases do not affect the good reputation of Kuwait as a humanitarian country. Mbaki affirmed that law is respected in Kuwait, expressing gratitude to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Interior for their cooperation with various embassies for solving any humanitarian issues.

MP Ahmad Al-Fadhli has proposed changes to procedures followed in case of traffic accidents in a bid to reduce traffic jam caused by accidents, especially during peak hours, reports Al- Anba daily. In his proposal, Al-Fadhli suggested that whenever a traffic accident occurs and there is no casualty which necessitates the presence of paramedics or firemen, those involved may take pictures from different perspectives of the accident with their mobile phones or any other device. He explained that once the pictures are taken, those involved in the accident should move their vehicles from the main road and park them on the side (emergency lanes). Whoever refuses to do so should pay KD 200 for not cooperating in ensuring smooth flow of traffic for other motorists and to avoid unnecessary traffic jam. He cited examples of congested roads such as King Faisal, King Fahad and King Abdulaziz highways that become more congested whenever an accident occurs and reaches a point where motorists spend a lot of time stuck on the road until the arrival of traffic officers.

An investigative report on the auctions in Kabad area received wide reactions from the parliament, government and populace, with some of the concerned government authorities rushing to exempt themselves from any responsibility in the Kabad auctions and affirming that such activities do not fall under their authority, reports Al-Rai daily. However, in the parliamentary spectrum, several MPs expressed their support for such youth initiatives but stressing the need for such activities to be organized in order for them to achieve the desired objectives set for such activities. MP Mubarak Al-Harees explained that he is in support of any youth initiatives that will have financial returns for them. Such activities must be under the administration of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) authority due to the fact that the Kabad auctions can be categorized as a small enterprise. He urged Ministry of Commerce and Industry to regulate the activity but not in a manner that will complicate it. MP Al-Harees affirmed that, “This activity does not hurt the commercial agents because they are financially and commercially stronger than the youths. We are in support of any activity that the youths adopt”. Meanwhile, MP Adel Al-Damkhi affirmed that he is not in support of setting conditions for such types of auctions in order to avoid restraining such activities, stressing the need for oversight by concerned authorities on products which are presented in these auctions. According to Salah Al- Shimmari, the owner of a Kabad auction, his auction received positive exposure, as owners of similar auctions need licenses that allow them to host auctions in tents. He affirmed that Ministry of Commerce and Industry issues licenses for public auctions, either individual license or for cooperating in accordance with the prevailing conditions, most important of which is that the auction should have a permanent headquarters.

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