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News: Kuwait to set 90 dinars monthly salary for Ethiopian domestic workers

Domestic workers hold up placards condemning the kafala law. Picture: The Alliance of Migrant Domestic Workers in Lebanon/Open Democracy/Archive 2020

Addis Abeba – Khaled Al-Dakhnan, the head of Kuwait’s Federation of Domestic Labor Recruitment Offices, said the salary of new Ethiopian domestic workers in Kuwait will be set around 90 dinars per month (≈$293).

Kuwait announced this during the visit by Ethiopian delegation led by Nigussu Tilahun, Minister for the Ministry of Labor and Skill. According the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the delegation has arrived in Kuwait on 16 April and was “expected to finalize the labor exchange agreement between Ethiopia and Kuwait. The agreement will help thousands of Ethiopians get employment opportunities in Kuwait,” MoFA said.

The Ethiopian delegation met with officials of Kuwait’s Public Authority for Manpower and the Federation of Domestic Workers Recruitment Offices, Kuwaiti media reported this morning.

The two countries are expected to sign a labor agreement which includes reopening “the Ethiopian embassy or one of the offices in the country, to follow up the affairs of domestic workers so that Kuwait can deal directly with the embassy of Ethiopian office in Kuwait and not through the intermediary offices,” according to Ethiopian state media.

The agreement will help thousands of Ethiopians get employment opportunities in Kuwait”

MoFA

Kuwait is one of the destination for Ethiopian domestic workers migrating to middle eastern countries in search of a better life. But the country also exercises the exploitative kafala system, which ties migrant workers with agents and forces works not change employment without the employer’s permission.

In March 2017, a video of an Ethiopian domestic worker falling from the seventh floor of a residential apartment building in Kuwait triggered a global outrage. Human Right Watch (HRW) condemned the working conditions of domestic workers in Kuwaiti and asked authorities to “investigate the working conditions that lead to all such attempted escapes or suicides and refrain from charging employees with “absconding.” No one should have to resort to climbing out of tall buildings to escape their workplace,” HRW said in response to the viral video.

Kuwait has briefly suspended the recruitment of Ethiopian domestic workers, but lifted the ban in April 2018. The two countries were since discussing to finalize the signing of the agreement to govern the recruitment of domestic workers. AS

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