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KUWAIT CITY, March 23: The specialist in domestic labor affairs, Bassam Al- Shammari, said the Kuwaiti embassy in Sri Lanka has stopped issuing visas for domestic workers wishing to come to Kuwait due to a technical error that hit the automated systems about a week ago, reports Al-Jarida daily. Al-Shammari, in a statement to Al-Jarida, said until today the authorities or the concerned government agencies have not solved this problem that caused the suspension of new arrivals from Sri Lanka, especially with local recruitment offices relying primarily on them now, in light of the continuation of the Philippine decision to stop sending domestic workers to the country.
This happens at a time when the domestic labor market is witnessing the departure of hundreds of workers whose contracts have expired and refused to renew them and the Philippine government decision to stop sending new workers to Kuwait.
The daily added to make matters worse, no new date has been set for resuming work in this regard, which threatens shortage of domestic workers, especially during the month of Ramadan, during which there is a lot of demand for domestic workers. He called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to quickly solve this problem to help resume sending workers from Sri Lanka, expecting an exacerbation of a labor shortage crisis during the next two months, with the end of the two-year work contracts concluded between workers and their employers and the unwillingness of many workers to continue working in Kuwait, preferring other neighboring countries citing fewer problems and more in terms of monthly salaries.
He considered that the best solution to this recurring crisis is to make room, by the concerned government agencies, led by the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior, and the Public Authority for Manpower, to bring in domestic workers from several markets, and not to limit the matter or be content with only one or two countries, especially since Kuwait has experienced bitterness because of relying on specific countries to recruit more than once, without taking serious government measures to end this crisis.
Al-Shammari stressed that if Kuwait wishes to resume the Philippines sending its workers again, it must first find radical solutions to the problem of “overcrowding of female workers in the embassy”, calling it illegal that occurs in full view of government agencies, without taking decisive action to prevent the recurrence of such inappropriate behavior from some embassies.
On another issue, the Philippine embassy in the country addressed some local offices directly to oblige them to pay the value of airline tickets for some workers who returned to Manila and the contractual relationship with their employers ended, threatening that “in the event of non-payment within 3 days, they will be cancelled.” The sources added, “Such behavior by some embassies does not exist at all in neighboring states and countries, especially the Gulf ones, given the strength of the government position there compared to the government weaknesses that the offices in Kuwait suffer from, which refl ected and distressed their work.”