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MPs query Interior on sex trade – Push on recruitment firm for domestics

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KUWAIT CITY, May 4: MP Saud Aharija has forwarded questions to Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khalid on the alleged network that ‘sells’ Malawian women in Kuwait for sex activities. He cited a report published by Al-Rai daily on April 24, 2016 stating that a network is selling Malawian women for sex in Kuwait.

The network consists of a Congolese, a Burundi doctor and two Malawians communicating with an agent in Kuwait.

The report revealed that the network is trafficking Malawian women to Kuwait where they are detained and forced to engage in sexual acts, he added. In light of the report, the lawmaker wants to know if the Interior Ministry has started investigations, if the agent in Kuwait has been identified and if there is correspondence with the governments of Kuwait and Malawi on the issue.

He also asked about the number of Malawians who entered Kuwait in the last five years, ways of entry to Kuwait, list of companies which hired Malawian women in the last five years, nature of their work, names of Kuwaitis who recruited Malawian housemaids in the last five years, and number of human trafficking and sex trade cases in the last five years.

Meanwhile, Priorities Committee Chairman Yousef Al- Zalzalah revealed he is interested in issues related to health insurance for retirees and the call to hold the Audit Bureau responsible for the delayed implementation of the health cards for retirees project although the Ministry of Finance has allocated a budget of KD 86 million, including KD 20 million to complete the contracts of the Health Ministry this year.

Speaking to those who visited him in his diwaniya in Dasma Tuesday, Al-Zalzalah affirmed the committee is keen on playing its role effectively. He said they invited representatives from the ministries of Health and Finance as well as the Audit Bureau to a meeting in order to discuss reasons behind the delay. He disclosed the Ministry of Health has vowed to closely coordinate with its finance counterpart to speed up completion of the project.

Talking about the law on establishing a company for the recruitment of domestic workers, Al-Zalzalah asserted that Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) should work towards the establishment of the company. He expects the study in this regard to be completed within two weeks at the latest. He also stressed the need to expedite implementation of the law, especially since Ramadan is fast approaching.

He hopes the problem will be solved soon as some domestic labor offices have been taking advantage of the situation to earn higher profits. He added the cost for hiring a housemaid reached KD 1,500 in some cases.

On the economic reform document prepared by the government, Al-Zalzalah revealed the 2010 Parliament approved several items in the document. He then emphasized the need to allow the private sector to have greater participation in the development of the country. He claimed some parties are trying to depict privatization negatively in a bid to serve personal interests. He cited as an example the unfounded rumors on the oil industry privatization, indicating the refineries, drilling and exploration operations are excluded from such plans.

In a related development, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim said the government requested postponement of deliberations on the economic reform document. He clarified the document does not necessitate issuance of legislation or National Assembly vote as it is the vision of the government.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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