Kuwait suspends all work, entry visas for Filipinos

Kuwait has suspended all types of work and entry visas for Filipinos after the Philippines reportedly violated a bilateral labor agreement with the country, local media reported on Tuesday, citing sources from the Ministry of Interior.

Sheikh Talal al-Khaled al-Sabah, the Minister of Interior, had ordered the visa pause after a breach, news outlet Kuwait Times reported, without providing further details.

The suspension reportedly was due to the Philippines having not “complied with the provisions of the labor agreement between the two countries,” local news outlet Kuwait Times quoted sources in the ministry as saying.

The Philippines had in February barred first-time workers, especially domestic workers, from entering Kuwait after the brutal murder of a 35-year-old Filipina maid by the teenage son of her Kuwaiti employer.

The Philippines government has also recently suspended the accreditation of new recruitment agencies in Kuwait.

Around 268,000 Filipino workers are employed in Kuwait. According to data from the Department of Migrant Workers, there were more than 24,000 cases of violation and abuse against Filipino workers in 2022 alone.

Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople had in January said that a team of officials would be traveling to Kuwait to investigate the rise of cases of abuse against Filipino workers, as well as to work with Kuwaiti officials to take preventative measures.

Sexual abuse and rape, human trafficking, labor contract violations and illegal terminations are among the common complaints of Filipinos, according to her.

Domestic workers in the country also report delayed or unpaid salaries, long working hours, uncomfortable sleeping arrangements, and the confiscation of their passports and personal belongings.

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