I was invited to attend the Human Rights Watch press conference a couple of days back to talk about their newly published report on human right abuses faced by migrant domestic workers in Kuwait, highlighting the sponsorship system in Kuwait. The representative of Human Rights Watch; Sarah Leah, Nisha Varia, and Priyanka Motaparthy talked about the topic giving brief description of the region with some stats on their organization, the problem itself, findings, problems, and suggestions. They also opened the floor for Q&A at the end.
So lets focus on Kuwait now…. All in all, Kuwait is a country with 1.3 million citizens, hosting over 660,000 domestic workers which is the highest ratio when compared to other countries in the region. Those migrant domestic workers face abuse mainly due to the lack of labor laws, strict sponsorship system, and problems with the court system.
However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel -hopefully- because there was a recent announcement made by the government about plans to abolish the sponsorship system next year.
First steps into solving any problem starts with recognizing the problem itself and admitting it! Once thats accomplished, other steps towards a better system would be more easier when it comes to making a difference, changing the system itself, establishing a draft law to better help domestic workers having their complaints pursued easily in our court system!
Those migrant domestic workers are human beings… put yourself in their shoes!
- You do require rest periods
- You look forward to holidays
- You NEED your day off
- You need someone at your back!
Jordan has taken the step into including the migrant domestic workers in their labor law. Bahrain’s sponsorship system ended with another better system. Singapore is an excellent example for having laws protecting those migrant workers when they established a monitoring system to punish abusive employees – their abuse rates dropped dramatically…. And Kuwait? Well, there is potential and there is hope 🙂 Lets take the step forward!
For more info, check out Human Rights Watch website (link)
Or check out Frankom’s Post about it in Arabic (link) – باللغة العربية
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Hi Ansam–what a refreshing blog. You sound like a woman who makes the most of your life. My Google alert for the HRW conference in Kuwait brought you to me, and I’d like to alert you in turn to a piece I wrote about the HRW report and Kuwait at The Huffington Post on October 6. My novel, Small Kingdoms, which is set in Kuwait (where I lived for 5 years), has the issue of domestic worker abuse at its heart, however the book shows a very heartfelt, sympathetic view of your country, which I hold in high esteem. It disturbs me that there’s no much negative press about the Gulf states, and my hope is that my book can lend more nuance to the discussion. The Huffington Post piece: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anastasia-hobbet/post_1020_b_753178.html
Thanks for dropping by 🙂 I really appreciate it. And thanks for the link also
Hey Ansam……thanx for putting tat article on ur blog. I appreciate it….sincerely.
Though we, (expats ike many), enjoy all the good things that Kuwait has to give us, there are many, who cant hav a single square meal, in a day. It is sad….but its the truth…and we must admit it. I jus want to say……they too are, Mothers, Sisters, Husbands, Daughters, Sons……jus like any one of us. They are HUMAN BEINGS, too. So please give them their……….
Thank you for your comment 😀
Thank you for the post, hope they really take it into consideration and not ignore it.
I hope so too 🙂
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