KUWAIT CITY, June 24: Malawian Minister of Foreign Affairs Francis Kasaila was recently quoted as saying Malawi and Kuwait have no government-to-government agreement on the current labor migration deals, reports Al-Rai daily.
He added, most of the young people who go to Kuwait for work are doing so on their own. Nonetheless, he went on to say the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) of Malawi has asked the government of President Peter Mutharika to rescue the Malawian women who are believed to be trapped in Kuwait.
The executive director of CHRR Timothy Mtambo said the government of Malawi has a duty to protect its citizens from abuse. Mtambo added the women went to Kuwait in search of work because of widespread poverty in Malawi.
“No person can just leave her country for nothing. That is why we are reminding the State of its obligation to protect its citizens when they are in danger, these girls have suffered abuse in that land (and) it’s time Malawi should engage Kuwait and send air tickets for the girls,” said Mtambo.
Former president Joyce Banda and her People’s Party (PP) introduced the labor export initiative arguing, at that time, that it would go a long way in reducing unemployment among the young in the country.
Labor Minister Henry Mussa said the DPP government is planning to cancel all the agreements to export more until the whole program is reviewed. According to the minister, there are no formal agreements between the government and recruitment agencies exporting labor to Kuwait or to United Arab Emirates. “We have reports that some individuals or agencies are recruiting people without formal agreements. There was just a memorandum of understanding between the People’s Party-led government and some agents that are recruiting people, especially the young,” Mussa said. A 2013 Amnesty International report revealed that most Malawians working in Arab countries as taxi drivers and cleaners are at the risk of being abused and exploited.