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Offices blame suspended recruitment for maids’ hiring fees increase
May 21, 2015, 9:41 am

The stoppage of bringing domestic help from 12 countries is the main reason behind the increase in costs of hiring domestic workers in Kuwait, an official said in a statement. Head of Kuwait Domestic Help Offices Union Fadhel Ashkanani said the union will continue revealing the reasons behind the rise in costs of hiring domestic labor and identify who is behind it.

Ashkanani noted among the most important reasons for the rise in hiring fees is the deliberate stoppage of bringing domestic helpers from India, Indonesia, Nepal, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mali, Tanzania, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Madagascar and Congo. He noted that domestic labor is now only limited to the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Cameron.

Bringing domestic workers from India was banned temporarily earlier this year before an agreement between governments of the two countries ended the ban. Ashkanani clarified that the problem started in 2008 with the stoppage of bringing domestic help from these labor-exporting countries,” Askhkanani clarified, adding that the case was worsened by the suspension of domestic workers’ recruitment from Indonesia.

He added that the person who caused this particular problem is a former official at the interior ministry. “This official stopped bringing domestic help from these laborexporting countries, and instead of bringing them from Indonesia, he shifted to Africa,” he said, indicating that this situation caused many problems to citizens.

Rented offices

Ashkanani further accused the former official of having four rented offices that bring in domestic helpers. He added that the official sent his representative to some Asian countries that export labor, and gave them financial incentives to carry out an illegal mission to negotiate the increase of commissions that foreign offices are receiving from these countries. He said this made the rest of the offices in Kuwait to raise the commission to keep their customers, which led to the rise of fees at a spiraling rate. He added that the former official paid commissions of nearly more than a million dollars in each state to foreign offices to deal with him, so he can execute his plans to monopolize the domestic labor market in Kuwait.

Meanwhile, Ashkanani criticized people who hold domestic help offices completely responsible for the fee increases. He blamed ‘Asian and African workers,’ who he said control 60 percent of the domestic labor offices in Kuwait,’ for distorting the reputation of domestic help offices. “Many of (the workers) are operating under bogus office names and are not licensed,” he elaborated. He lauded the Interior Ministry’s current efforts to get rid of this problem, which already led to the arrest of many African nationals who work in fake offices. He hoped that the ministry continues these efforts.

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