The General Directorate of Residency Affairs of the Ministry of Interior has published a revised list of countries from where domestic helpers should not be hired. The list includes 23 African countries and two Asian nations.

Domestic helpers from Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria,Togo and Uganda have been newly added to the proscribed list. Earlier, domestic helpers from Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Malawi, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone,Tanzania and Zimbabwe in Africa, along with Indonesia and Bhutan in Asia, were banned from sending workers to Kuwait.

Two African countries, namely Eritrea and Liberia, were removed from the banned list in July when the foreign ministry issued a new list of precluded countries.

Meanwhile, the President of the Union of Domestic Workers Offices Khaled Al-Dakhanan revealed that the union had held a meeting recently with the Philippine Ambassador and the Labor Attaché, where they discussed the latest developments and were briefed on the most important issues related to the recruitment of Filipino domestic workers to the country.

Sources informed that the Union has received assurance from the Philippine ambassador to overcome all the obstacles faced in the recruitment process, and that in the coming days more effective steps will be implemented that will both the Kuwaiti and Philippine sides.

He pointed out that a Philippine delegation will visit Kuwait in January to sign the joint contract on domestic workers. He added that the Union will be pursuing other positive moves to hire more domestic workers; most notably through a visit to Indonesia and the Philippines at the end of December, in order to achieve an expansion in recruitment and overcome obstacles. He also disclosed that the Union is in contact with the embassies of several countries with the aim of facilitating the recruitment of domestic helpers from those nations.

On a related note, the Union chief said that depriving Kuwaiti recruitment agencies of the right of re-employ domestic helpers returned by some sponsors during the probation period prompted many foreign offices to stop exporting their workers to Kuwait because they feared the large number of workers returning to their country without realistic reasons for their return deprived the worker of their chance to work again in Kuwait.

He called on the concerned authorities to alleviate the suffering of the offices and give them the right to re-recruit returned domestic helpers, similar to that offered to government-supported recruitment agency, in accordance with the principle of equal opportunities.

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