Kuwait bids to expand domestic labour hiring

Cairo: The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry has sent a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) to the Ethiopian labour authorities to clear the way for recruitment of domestic workers from the African country to ease a shortage in domestic helpers in Kuwait, a unionist has disclosed.

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Chairman of Kuwait’s Union for Domestic Labour Khalid Al Dakhnan said the MOU was dispatched five days ago to Addis Ababa for revision and potential observations.

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“The Foreign Ministry has amended some articles in the MOU in a manner that protects rights of the three parties involved: domestic labour, local recruitment agencies and their counterparts in Addis Ababa,” Al Dakhnan told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida without giving details.

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He added that the final conclusion of the agreement will save a lot of money for Kuwaiti citizens and foreign residents interested in hiring Ethiopian domestic workers.

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“It is important to recruit domestic workers from several markets and stop limiting them to two or three countries,” he said. “Allowing the recruitment of the Ethiopian labour will strike a market balance and solve more than 70 per cent of the current shortage in domestic labour,” Al Dakhnan added.

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Earlier this week, Al Dakhnan and members of the union met the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Kuwait Othman Jawhar for talks on recruitment of domestic workers from the country.

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Both sides agreed to hold a workshop between the union and the embassy to discuss all issues related to the Sri Lankan workers, the union’s Director-General Abdulaziz Al Ali said.

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“They include the problem of female workers stranded in the embassy who refuse to continue work for their employers and want to return to their home country,” he added.

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Al Ali said that the union will approach the Kuwaiti Public Authority of Manpower to solve the problem and accommodate those workers in a shelter centre until their repatriation.

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