KuwaitOther News

Indonesian Embassy denies discussing domestic helpers’ issue with Kuwait

‘Indonesian government policy remains unchanged’

KUWAIT: The Indonesian Embassy in Kuwait has denied any discussions were held with any Kuwaiti authorities with regards to the recruitment of domestic helpers. An embassy official who spoke to Kuwait Times on the condition of anonymity said the policy of Indonesia remains unchanged. “No official discussions were held on this matter. The policy of the government of Indonesia at present remains unchanged,” the official said.

In 2010, the Indonesian government decided to totally stop sending domestic helpers to the Middle East over allegations of mistreatment and abuse. Prior to the ban, the population of Indonesians in Kuwait was around 60,000 – with over 85 percent of them domestic helpers. Their numbers are down to less than 9,000 presently.

On Monday, Kuwait Times reported that officials from the Public Authority for Manpower are expected to meet soon with Indonesian officials to discuss regulations for recruiting Indonesians as domestic helpers, to resume a protocol that had been suspended for 11 years. The meeting could be held before the end of the year or by the beginning of 2020, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, noting that the Indonesian side is expected to suggest a draft of the contract to be used in hiring domestic helpers, which mentions minimum wages, leaves and workers’ rights.

The sources said foreign ministries of both countries are about to sign a memorandum of understanding in this regard in Kuwait, adding that discussions were resumed upon Kuwait’s request. In addition, the sources stressed that once the agreement is approved and signed, Indonesian domestic helpers will be expected in Kuwait by the fourth quarter of 2020 and that their recruitment will be done through the Al-Durra Company for Domestic Labor Recruitment.

By Ben Garcia

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