The Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior considers suspending recruitment of domestic workers from Ethiopia in the wake of numerous reports of abuse and violations making headlines recently, according to media reports. According to Alam-Alyawm daily, the rise in the number of crimes and violations committed by Ethiopian immigrants is being considered as the basis of has raised concerns within the government circles, following which the Immigration General Department considering the option of suspending recruitment of Ethiopian maids.
According to reliable sources, the decision will affect domestic workers alone. Recently, an Ethiopian maid reportedly killed a Kuwaiti woman, and the news created a negative impact, following which a number of Ethiopian domestic workers were returned by their house owners to maid recruitment offices.
According to security sources, Ethiopian nationals have recently been accused of involvement in 87 criminal incidents, including murders, child abuse, and suicides. The MOI is conducting an investigative study to control such criminal incidents involving Ethiopian immigrants. This is not the first time that the issue is under scrutiny. An earlier study on the matter has already been rejected. Recently, the ministry set up a committee to review the study and suggest recommendations.
According to sources, the suspension proposal has the support of more than 90 percent of the people whose opinion was sought by the ministry in a poll, including a number of senior officials. However, the MOI is thinking of other alternatives, since it cannot suspend the recruitment of domestic workers from Ethiopia without providing an alternative.
Rashed Al-Hajri, director at the Ministry of Commerce, said that the ministries would need to coordinate on issues related to recruitment of domestic workers and their salaries, since this would ensure rights of workers. He added that such a measure would also make sure that the manpower would not be exploited or manipulated and that any violations by employees or employers would call for legal action so as to ensure justice prevails. He further said that the ministries would discuss prevention measures so that all involved parties abide by the law.
Foreign Domestic Workers in Kuwait
According to statistics, there are over 55,000 foreign housemaids in Kuwait. There have been several reports of abuse of domestic workers in Kuwait. Even the Kuwaiti government acknowledges this as a serious problem and has set up a hotline for maids to report abuse against their employer. However, the government has not achieved much success through these measures, and the reports of abuse of housemaids continue to escalate.