Saturday, November 12, 2011

Human Trafficking in Kuwait: An "exaggeration"? Yeh!

Kinda ironic that I saw both of these within minutes of each other.

Some Domestic Workers Harm Country’s Reputation: Al-Enezi

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 10: A senior labor official in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor criticized an American report which accused Kuwait of human trafficking, saying “the allegations were based on information posted on blogs and articles published in some newspapers,” reports Al-Seyassah daily.  (DG Comment:  Unlike official Kuwaiti agencies, statistical information on Kuwait IS actually gathered by other organizations.  Aint that a thang! .. but wait... HOW many years has Kuwait been reported for the same thing?)

Hadi Al-Enezi, supervisor of labor relations department in the ministry, said some domestic workers harm Kuwait’s reputation by exaggerating the level of abuses they were subjected to. (Reader Expataussiegal says:  "I wonder what level of abuse he finds acceptable?")  

He said the ministry set the combating of human trafficking as one of its strategic goals and added that it will take several measures to eradicate the root causes of the problem.   

(DG Comment:  BS!  How long have they been saying that?  I keep hearing the same songs played over and over and over.)

Al-Enezi stressed that most labor problems, particularly those of domestic workers are related to delays in paying wages, differences in traditions and the environment, and the inability to get along with the host family. He said the domestic labor administration is working on a proposal which will oblige sponsors to deposit workers’ salaries in local banks or to sign receipt or salary transfer receipts in languages understood by the workers.


Anonymous said...

Human Trafficking is widespread throughout the world. What is paramount is that governments enforce restrictions in their own legal systems, so that it prevents such practices from occurring, therefore safeguarding their reputations. I have lobby'd in the Kuwait Parliament for legislative reform and one isolated moment I recall was when I turned to the MP and asked him, "How long must the mothers and daughters of Asia return to their homeland in coffins, whilst you turn your heads and deny them protective legislation." You don't hire a woman, you hire a village. Whatever happens to that woman during employment, will affect the entire family/village. I remember traveling to Nepal where I lectured throughout the country on the legal aspects of their employment in the GCC working as domestic workers. I remember visiting a village where I sat in mud homes with no windows and the village women met me with a wreath of flowers that they had made for me. I wondered why you would recruit women from countries to clean your windows when they don't have windows? I felt so honored to sit with them as they were so interested in what I had to say and these were women who had the right to vote in their country although they struggled to put one meal on the table each day, and at that time Kuwaiti women did not have the right to vote and these women had more rights then them in their society. I also visited the hospitals in Kuwait where I held hands with women who had every bone in their body broken by Kuwaiti women who prayed five times a day. But human rights abuse and human trafficking is everywhere, even in the US, but if this government wants to control the situation, then they must make efforts in their legal systems to protect this labor force and to keep their name off these reports. One step would be to umbrella this labor force under the private sector laws and to enforce all maid visas to go through a government organization with a built in legal court to protect employee/employers. But this is one topic that you can watch an MP face turn white if you bring up the subject, they do not want to address this topic and ruffle the feathers of their constituents.

expataussiegal said...

"Hadi Al-Enezi, supervisor of labor relations department in the ministry, said some domestic workers harm Kuwait’s reputation by exaggerating the level of abuses they were subjected to."
I wonder what level of abuse he finds acceptable?

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous 10:38 - thank you for such an insightful comment.

expataussiegal - I was trying to articulate that, but you did it for me! Thanks. :)

I can't believe someone with those beliefs would be head of labor relations anywhere. He's in his position to protect the rights of the workers....

Anonymous said...

I am Kuwaiti but I am ashamed of what about to say. My elder sister has a maid and she treats her like shit. Last weak she slapped her for no reason! The maid has been working for her for two years and she only had 3 days off!!! The day her mother passed away, the day her father passed away and one day out with other maids. I finally convinced her to give her a 2 months paid vacation to her country after which I will transfer her visa into my name and double her salary.

There is already a law the obliges Kuwaitis to give a receipt for each month's pay but a terrified maid can always sign even if she's not paid.

My eldest sister says that the "yellow race" are not human!!! I had a fight with her because of that and we no longer talk to each other.

My mother was not the same but I have noticed that the new generations are inhumane and it's getting worse year after year.

We're talking about people working from 6 am to 12am on a daily basis. Imagine being called a 100 times a day just to bring a glass of water.

My elder sister asks our maid to massage her feet every night at 11:30 pm! Not because she's good as doing it but as an act of superiority!!!

I've lived among these people for I am one of them and I have tons of stories like that.

Anonymous said...

Let not even talk of American companies that do the same stuff in Kuwait. I was not given a visa by my company for 14 months. This new company took over a government contract at the airport and did not transfer visas of many of my coworkers. We were made to train the new companies employees and promised many things including higher pay and management positions. Only after one employee was taken to the police station for no visa and he hired a lawyer did thing get rectified.

I'll let you know, neither the U.S. Military or the U.S. Embassy would lift a finger to help us. I asked a Kuwaiti friend about talking to the law here. I was told that I would be fined and face deportation.

It's all real. But what country can point fingers when they allow even their own citizens to suffer injustices themselves?