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Protection of domestic workers bill presented to Parliament
November 1, 2014, 8:51 am

MP Khalil Al- Saleh has revealed that a bill has been presented to the Parliament regarding the protection of domestic workers in compliance with the international laws and the prevailing traditions of the Kuwaiti society. Earlier, the Acting Director of Domestic Workers Affairs Department at Ministry of Interior Colonel Eskandar Al- Kandari affirmed the need for provisions that will govern the ministry in safeguarding the domestic workers, reports Al-Rai daily.

During a seminar titled ‘Together we can solve the domestic workers’ issue’, which was organized by the Social Work Society under the framework of Kuwait being the global center for humanitarian work, MP Al-Saleh said, “We will talk to concerned officials in the domestic workers bureaus, embassies and human rights organizations.

A new law will be passed in this regard in the upcoming parliamentary term, which will be a step forward for Kuwait in this aspect”. He stressed the need to solve the issue related to the domestic workers through the existence of clear and accepted legislation which shouldn’t be merely on paper but can be easily implemented. He added, “A real vision is required which will reflect what we want to see in reality.

It should not turn into something that the foreign countries will use to criticize Kuwait or accuse it of being a country that does not respect the human rights”.

Meanwhile, the Acting Director of the Domestic Workers Department at Ministry of Interior Colonel Eskandar Al- Kandari said, “The department has set regulations to organize the process of bringing domestic workers into the country and for protecting their interests and the interests of their sponsors based on Decree 40/1992”.

He explained, “The regulations imposed on the domestic workers bureaus were allotted due to the fact that these bureaus play a huge part in bringing domestic workers into the country.

Therefore, there are certain necessary criteria that these bureaus have to ensure are met such as the health status of the maids, non-existence of criminal records and their ability to work as well as certificates to prove that they are not suffering from psychological problems.

These requirements also necessitate them to undergo medical tests again in Kuwait”. Al-Kandari said some of the laws set to safeguard the interests of the domestic workers such as their right to obtain 48 hours pay and medical care in case of injury or sickness, and also over time and one-day weekly holiday which should be paid for in case it is not granted.

He stressed that matters such as the sponsor withholding the passport of the domestic worker is a violation of the law, stressing the importance of ‘’clearance and hoping that this law will be endorsed soon.

In addition, the Deputy Director of the Social Work Society Dr Faisal Al- Masoud said, “Proposing such a bill for the domestic workers is aimed to protect and safeguard the welfare of the maids and the country at the same time due to the fact that many problems have emerged in the past years regarding this issue which has affected various aspects, such as security, social, economical, cultural and even political aspects”.

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