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Recruitment agency signs deal to hire Indian domestic helpers
July 7, 2018, 4:34 pm

The recent signing of a deal between Kuwait’s Al-Durra Company for Manpower and six government-approved labor recruiting agencies in India will rescind the ban, which has been in place for over a year, on recruiting Indian female domestic workers to Kuwait. Recruiting of domestic helpers to Kuwait is expected to begin as early as this month said a representative of Al-Durra.

According to informed sources the deal clinched by the two sides underlines that all relevant recruitment charges will be borne by the recruiting agency and that newly recruited domestic helpers will not have to pay anything additional in terms of airfare or medical examination fees.

In addition, the new recruits will be trained for a period of six months in order for them to become accustomed to the customs and traditions of Kuwaiti households. The deal also states that in case of a dispute with the employer, or unwillingness of the domestic helper to continue in service due to unforeseen circumstances, the worker will be repatriated to the home country at the expense of Al-Durra.

The contract signed with Al-Durra has provisions that ensure the Indian embassy in Kuwait will have full access to a domestic worker at all times, and that in case of a ‘dispute’ or otherwise, the Al-Durra Company will be solely responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the worker.

There are about 350,000 Indian domestic workers in Kuwait out of which it is estimated that 90,000 are female workers. Indians form the largest single community in Kuwait numbering approximately one million.

The Al-Durra for Manpower company is a semi-government entity that was established in 2015 and is specialized in the recruitment of foreign workers. The ownership of the company is distributed between the Union of Consumer Co-Operative Societies (60%), the General Authority for Investment (10%), the General Organization for Social Insurance (10%), the General Authority for Minors Affairs (10%) and Kuwait Airways Corporation (10%). 

Kuwait has been facing criticism from international agencies for not doing enough to protect the right of domestic maids and a number of countries have barred their nationals from working as domestic servants due to rampant abuse.

In November 2014, the Indian government mandated that every employer who wanted to recruit an Indian female domestic worker had to provide a bank guarantee of $2,500 (KD730) at the Indian Embassy. This action drew protests from the public and the government in Kuwait with several lawmakers calling for the halt of recruitment of manpower from India. The Indian government later rescinded the bank guarantee, but also ordered the Indian embassy to stop attesting employment contract with Kuwaiti sponsors for female domestic workers, which was a prerequisite for Indian female domestic workers to leave India for travel to Kuwait.

For its part, the Indonesian government imposed a ban on its domestic workers traveling to Kuwait in 2010 following widespread alleged abuses of its maids and continuous arrival of runaway housemaids at the Indonesian Embassy in Kuwait. 

Most recently the Philippine government had imposed a ban on its female domestic helpers seeking work in Kuwait following horrific incidents of violence against Filipino maids in Kuwait. The ban was lifted only last month after Kuwait government provided assurances that the rights of Filipinos of attacks and only lifted the ban last month after a new contract was signed at the government level to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Filipino workers in Kuwait.

- Staff Report

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