Kuwait News

Kuwait’s Domestic Worker Numbers Surge Despite Recruitment Ban

Kuwait has witnessed a notable surge in domestic worker numbers, with figures rising from 583,000 in late 2021 to 811,000 until last month, despite an ongoing ban on recruiting new labor from the Philippines.

Indian domestic workers have seen a significant increase of around 30 percent this year, totaling 361,000 until last month. Among them, Indian female house workers constitute 28.7 percent of the total.

Conversely, the number of houseworkers in Sri Lanka has dropped from 79,000 in 2022 to 48,200 this year, with female labor accounting for more than 90 percent of the total.

Even with the recruitment ban in place, domestic workers from the Philippines in Kuwait come in second in terms of numbers, reaching 201,000. Filipinas still comprise the highest percentage of foreign female house labor in Kuwait, making up 99.4 percent of the total number of Filipino houseworkers in the country.

In May, Kuwait announced the suspension of all visas for Filipino workers in response to perceived non-compliance by Philippine authorities with a previously agreed-upon labor agreement between the two countries. Kuwait attributed the ban to what it termed as “wrong practices” by the Philippine embassy and some members of the Filipino community’s involvement in crimes against Kuwaitis.

Despite the ban, Kuwait continues to renew permits for Filipinos with valid residency permits who wish to remain employed in the country.

Last month, Kuwait’s Assistant Foreign Minister for Asia Affairs, Sameeh Hayat, cited ongoing efforts to diffuse the tensions. Additionally, Kuwait recently announced that, starting from November 5, Kuwaitis will have the right to cancel a house worker’s residency permit three months after the worker’s departure from the country, instead of the previous waiting period of six months.

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