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KUWAIT CITY, April 26: Bassam Al-Shammari, a specialist in domestic labor affairs says it is complete contrary to what was expected, and after 4 years of confusion, loud slogans, and promises to eliminate the problems of domestic workers, remove the causes of their complaints, and quickly settle their disputes, the decision to transfer the affiliation of this worker from the Ministry of Interior to the protection sector of the Public Authority for Manpower achieved nothing but Kuwait’s classification dropped low and tarnished its reputation with regard to combating the crime of human trafficking, with only two countries monopolizing the market and causing major problems if one of them decided to stop supplying labor, as is currently the case with the Philippines, which contributes 60 percent of our needs, reports Al-Jarida daily.
Al-Shammari said that Kuwait has the best laws in the region to regulate the rights of workers with wide labor benefits, but they remain a dead letter, in light of the deprivation of this worker of their most basic rights by withholding their travel documents (civil card and passport) by their employers in full view of the concerned sector.
This is in addition to the delay and procrastination in resolving disputes related to employers’ refusal to pay monthly salaries or end-of-service dues. He added the sector was unable to understand the nature of dealing with the file of domestic workers, and was preoccupied with side conflicts with recruitment agencies, forgetting its main role in protecting employment.
This month, he said, marks the fourth anniversary of the decision to transfer the affiliation of domestic workers from the Ministry of Interior to the Labor Protection Sector of the Public Authority for Manpower to accelerate the pace of adjudication of disputes that arise between them and the employer, which are increasing day by day, or improving Kuwait’s image externally and making it attractive to this workforce. To the contrary, the opposite happened, according to what was indicated by some international reports, which lowered Kuwait’s classification with regard to combating human trafficking, or by opening new recruitment markets with several countries to diversify recruitment of this labor instead of being content with one or two countries that monopolize the market and cause an imbalance.
Al-Shammari believes that “the most prominent reason for failure is the lack of understanding by the protection sector in the authority of the nature of dealing with the domestic labor file, which is completely different from dealing with labor in the private sector, and even its inability to read and analyze its data and requirements in an optimal and correct manner, and then finding appropriate solutions to the series of crises facing the country with regard to regulating the recruitment and use of domestic workers for years without radical solutions.”