First Published: 2018-02-13

Kuwait condemns Manila ban on Filipino workers
Kuwait says "escalation will not serve the relationship between Kuwait and the Philippines" after Manila announced ban on new employment in the Gulf country.
Middle East Online

Authorities say 252,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, many as maids.

KUWAIT CITY - Kuwait's foreign minister on Tuesday condemned what he called an "escalation" by Manila after the Philippines expanded a ban on its nationals working in Kuwait.

Manila on Monday announced a "total ban" on new employment in Kuwait, including Filipinos who had already obtained employment permits but had not yet left for the Gulf country.

The measure came after President Rodrigo Duterte angrily lashed out at Kuwait over reports of Filipino workers suffering abuse and exploitation.

"This escalation will not serve the relationship between Kuwait and the Philippines," Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah told reporters in Kuwait City.

"We condemn the statements of the Philippine president, especially since we are in contact with the Philippines at the highest level to fully explain the state of the Filipino workforce in Kuwait," he said.

Duterte on Friday brandished photos purporting to show a Filipina maid found in a freezer, saying she had been "roasted like a pig".

He also alleged Arab employers routinely raped their Filipina workers, forced them to work 21 hours each day and fed them scraps.

He asked Kuwait: "Is there something wrong with your culture? Is there something wrong with your values?"

Authorities say 252,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, many as maids. They are among over two million employed in the region, whose remittances are a lifeline to the Philippine economy.

Domestic workers in Kuwait are not covered by ordinary labour legislation.

Human Rights Watch and other rights groups have documented widespread abuses, including non-payment of wages, long working hours with no rest days, physical and sexual assault, and no clear channels for redress.

The Philippine foreign affairs department said Monday authorities were repatriating 10,000 overstaying Filipinos from Kuwait, taking advantage of an amnesty programme arranged with the Kuwaiti government.

Officials added they were eyeing China and Russia as "alternative markets" for overseas workers.

 

Iran's Ahmadinejad calls for immediate free elections

Russia pours cold water on UN bid to condemn Iran over missiles to Yemen

Saudi Arabia to boost entertainment in next decade

Merkel calls for end to 'massacre' in Syria

Saudi Arabia to host first Arab Fashion Week

Palestinian dies after being shot by Israeli soldiers

Gulf states urge Syria to end Ghouta violence

Wanted Bahraini militants die at sea en route to Iran

Iraq urges FIFA to lift ban on hosting internationals

Carnage of Ghouta's bombs breaking families

Blockaded Gaza Strip forced to pump sewage into sea

African migrants start hunger strike over Israel expulsion

UN chief 'deeply alarmed' by Eastern Ghouta violence

Three militiamen killed in Libya car bomb attack

Russia denies ‘groundless’ accusations of role in Ghouta killings

Turkey says whoever helps YPG is 'legitimate target'

Morocco dismantles IS-linked terrorist cell

Turkey urged to end gas standoff with Cyprus

PKK attack near Iraq kills 2 Turkish soldiers

Netanyahu confidant to testify against him

Iran emergency teams recover bodies from plane crash site

Ten dead in more Syrian regime strikes on East Ghouta

Bahrain activist sentenced to 5 years for Yemen tweets

Lebanese president makes landmark visit to Iraq

US declares readiness to talk Mideast peace

Bloodbath in Syria's eastern Ghouta

Abbas calls for peace conference in rare UN speech

Egyptian court adds leading government critic on terror list

Yemen government offensive threatens heritage site

Turkey considering chemical castration for child abusers

45 civilians killed in air strikes on rebel enclave

Cairo sheds Ottoman-era street names amid Egypt-Turkey crisis

New woes for Israeli PM in fresh graft cases

Maghreb countries wary about jihadists relocating from Iraq, Syria

Erdogan says Turkey will besiege Afrin "swiftly"

Turkey releases leading pro-Kurdish politician

5 Iranian police killed in Sufi protests

Iran finds wreckage of crashed plane on top of mountain

Israel’s gas contract with Egypt: deal or no deal?

Somalia appoints new police, intelligence chiefs

Iran plane crash rescue search halted for second night

France reaffirms commitment to Iran nuclear deal

Turkey warns Syria against protecting Kurds

Abbas warms up to Moscow amid cold US-Palestinian ties

Israel strikes 'historic' gas contract with Egypt