The decision by National Assembly’s Health and Labor committee to reject a proposal for establishing a company to recruit domestic-helpers has sparked a controversy among MPs who support and oppose the proposal. MP Kamel Al-Awadhi, the proposal’s main supporter, said he will request the Assembly in its next week’s session to refer the proposal to its Financial and Economic Affairs committee. However, a member of the Health and Labor committee MP Saadoun Hammad, who strongly objects to the proposal, said that the proposal must be reviewed by his committee in accordance with the stipulations of the Assembly charter.
Mr. Hammad stressed that the rejection was due to the refusal of Kuwait Investment Authority and the state-owned pension fund to participate in the company’s capital, as was suggested in the proposal. The supporters of the bill claim that the company will resolve a large number of problems and violations associated with the recruitment of domestic helpers in country and the measures will lead to a substantial reduction in the rising expense of recruiting maids.
Awadhi also added that the company has the support of a large number of MPs and the government, mainly the Interior Ministry. According to latest statistics, there are about 650,000 domestic helpers in Kuwait, and the overwhelming majority of them are Asians hailing from India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.