Philippines halts deployment of first-time workers to Kuwait after maid’s murder.
11 February 2023, 12:00 AM
31 March 2023, 12:00 AM
Philippines halted the deployment of first-time workers to Kuwait on Wednesday after reports of abuse, including murder, of Filipino migrant workers in the Gulf state.
More than 268,000 Filipinos live and work in Kuwait, where 35-year-old maid Jullebee Ranara was killed and her charred body found abandoned in a desert last month.
The killing had sent shockwaves across the Philippines, sparking calls for a deployment ban until a review of bilateral labor agreements.
Another abuse case emerged from Kuwait this week, after media reported that a Filipina worker was reportedly paralyzed after jumping from a window to escape her abusive employer.
The Philippine government has so far suspended the accreditation of new recruitment agencies in the Gulf country and is now stopping first-time workers from seeking employment in Kuwait.
“The application of first-time migrant workers specifically for household services in Kuwait shall be deferred until after significant reforms have been made resulting from upcoming bilateral talks with the said country,” the Department of Migrant Workers said in a statement.
But the latest policy to suspend the deployment of first-time workers is likely to affect Filipinos as well.
“The Department of Migrant Workers has issued a new advisory that would affect the deployment of 5,000 mobilized HSWs (household service workers) for Kuwait,” migrant work expert Emmanuel Geslani told Arab News. He based his estimates on the current number of workers deployed to Kuwait weekly, which is around 500.
Filipino lawmaker Ron Salo said in a statement that new workers headed for Kuwait should receive cultural training prior to their departure.
“We need to ensure that those who will be deployed in Kuwait … have the requisite experience and knowledge on the culture of Kuwait,” he said