Many reasons quoted in labor row ‘standoff’ between Kuwait and Philippines

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KUWAIT CITY, May 14: Bassam Al-Shammari, an expert in domestic labor affairs, listed a number of reasons that led to the aggravation of the situation between the Kuwaiti and the Philippine sides in terms of the file of labor force recruitment from the Philippines, reports Aljarida daily. He explained that the most prominent reason that led to this decline is the failure of the Center for Shelter for Expatriate Workers affiliated to the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) in playing its role and taking the required measures in the most complete manner.

Another reason is the problem of accumulation of female workers in their embassies and buildings belonging to them in Kuwait, and the lack of any urgent and effective solutions to this problem, which has been outstanding for a long time. Still another reason is the delay in adjudicating labor disputes, and the difficulty in securing the most basic rights of the workers especially with regard to withholding their personal documents, such as debit cards and passports.

Al-Shammari highlighted the overlapping of competencies between government agencies, and the unjustified silence about unlicensed shelters at some embassies, stressing that this phenomenon occurred in the embassies of several countries, and resulted in suspension of dealings with Indonesia in 2007, and Ethiopia in 2013, as well as the Philippines during the first suspension in 2018. He called on the concerned authorities to return the shelter center to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order for it to be a neutral body to activate its main role.

Al-Shammari said, “The concerned government agencies represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior and the Public Authority for Manpower’s Department for Regulating the Recruitment of Domestic Workers are currently preparing for the upcoming visit of the Philippine delegation, which is expected in the middle of this month, to hold a series of meetings to solve the current crisis, bring the views of the two sides closer together to ensure the resumption of recruitment of new domestic workers from Manila soon, and rescind the decision to suspend visas for new workers.

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