Kuwait offers tickets to help repatriate domestic helpers

September 6, 2010

Kuwait has provided 430 airplane tickets for the repatriation of Filipino runaway domestic helpers sheltered at the embassy.

The tickets, from the ministry of social affairs and labour, were handed over to the Philippine embassy to help reduce the number of housed runaway helpers, a local daily said.

According to Kuwait Times, 105 Filipinas constituted the third batch of domestic helpers to be repatriated since the programme began in June.

Most of the women had run away from their abusive sponsors’ households and sought the embassy’s assistance, with complaints ranging from non-payment of salaries, over-work, lack of food to physical and verbal abuse. Some of the runaway helpers stayed at the embassy for years, the daily said.

Sulan Primavera, the Philippine ambassador to Kuwait, said that the repatriated women were all runaway domestic helpers.

“Their employers have filed cases against them although they are minor ones. However, the government of Kuwait has been very helpful and they have been assisting us all the way,” Primavera said.

Vivo Vidal, the Philippine labour attache to Kuwait, said that the mass repatriation was not an amnesty but a joint programme of the Philippine and the Kuwaiti governments that aims to decongest the shelter and alleviate the suffering of domestic helpers.

“This mass repatriation program was offered to us by the Kuwaiti government; they had given us free tickets. They continuously assist us in our effort to repatriate our runaway housemaids. We still have about 250 allocations (reserved tickets) which we

intend to use soon,” Vidal said, quoted by the newspaper.

However, Vidal said that the embassy still housed around 170 housemaids.

“The problem is that we regularly repatriate workers, but we are also receiving tens of workers daily,” Vidal said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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