‘Relying on 1-2 countries for domestic labor impractical’
KUWAIT CITY, Feb 1: The Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Recruitment Bureaus has warned of the consequences of falling into the crisis of the shortage of domestic workers in the labor market during the next stage, indicating the inability to provide domestic labor at reasonable cost when dealing with only one or two countries, reports Al-Anba daily. This was revealed during the press conference held recently in the office of the President of the union Khaled Al-Dakhnan.
During the meeting of the unions in Kuwait and the Philippines, which was held two days ago via the “Zoom” platform, discussions were carried out about adding a new condition in addition to adhering to the memorandum of agreement between the two countries. The Philippines demanded imposing a condition on the recruitment agencies, requiring them to pay a financial guarantee of $10,000 that can be used when a dispute occurs between the sponsor and the worker.
They also refused to arrange the arrival of domestic workers before Ramadan. This condition was met with absolute rejection, even if the matter reached the extent of stopping the recruitment of domestic workers from the Philippines, especially since there are many false allegations by some workers.
The Kuwait union stressed that it is committed to the systems, regulations and provisions of Kuwaiti law and will not submit to the Philippines, which continues to place claims, especially since it is trying to defame Kuwait in front of human rights organizations.
It demanded the necessity to pave way to the largest number of labor-exporting countries without urging offices to deal with one or two countries, similar to the neighboring countries that have started dealing with about 22 domestic laborexporting countries. This matter greatly contributes to lowering the costs.
The union called on the responsible authorities in the state to work on signing agreements with a number of African and Asian countries that export domestic workers in order to create competition that would contribute to lowering costs, including Ethiopia, Uganda, Madagascar, Nepal and Indonesia in addition to Sri Lanka and India.
Al-Dakhnan affirmed that one of the objectives of the union is to try to reduce the cost of bringing in domestic workers, but this clashes with many things in their work, the first of which is the lack of cooperation of the concerned authorities. He indicated that the union, during its visit to many countries, sought as much as possible to ensure provision of domestic labor at reasonable costs, and that there is still one agreement from the countries that export domestic workers, which is the Philippines, that is yet to be sorted out.
Meanwhile, Director General of the Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Recruitment Bureaus Abdulaziz Al-Ali ruled out the possibility of achieving a reduction in domestic labor cost in light of a deficit in dealing with laborexporting countries. He stressed that the government did not pursue in the required manner for this matter by signing a memorandum of understanding with the countries that export domestic workers.
Al-Ali said there are strenuous efforts that are about to end with Ethiopia, but the issue is still stalled. He indicated that Indonesia is one of the countries that has more workers integrated with the Kuwaiti family, but it stopped recruitment to Kuwait since 2009, and the government must seek to reopen relations with it quickly.
In addition, the union’s secretary Ali Shamouh emphasized that the issue of domestic workers is thorny and requires concerted efforts, indicating that government agencies must exert efforts to open the way to deal with new countries. He said, “If things continue in this way, the offices will not be able to continue, and the costs will be very high in Kuwait”.