Kuwait says ban on Filipinos to stay if Philippines continues to ‘violate conditions’
The entry ban on Filipinos in Kuwait will stay as long as the Philippines continues to violate the conditions stipulated by the Kuwaiti government, Minister of Interior Sheikh Talal al-Khaled al-Sabah said on Wednesday.
In a statement carried on the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), the interior ministry said it would “continue halting issuance of any types of visas for the Philippines nationals as Manila rejected Kuwait’s conditions aimed to prevent recurrence of worker violations.”
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“The Ministry of Interior affirmed rejection of any infringement on Kuwait’s sovereignty or the dignity of Kuwaiti nationals,” the statement said, adding that the violations were considered “a red line.”
Earlier this May, Kuwait had announced that it would halt all types of work and entry visas for Filipinos under orders from the interior minister.
However, the renewal of residence permits of Filipinos with legal residents will continue as normal.
According to a letter from Kuwait’s Public Authority of Manpower, the main violations by the Philippines are forcing the employment offices in Kuwait to recall Filipino housemaids and workers from the houses of Kuwaiti citizens and house them at private residences that belong to the offices, forcing the employment offices to locate Filipinos who ran away from their Kuwaiti employers and thus taking the role of competent institutions in Kuwait, and applying pressure on Kuwaiti employers and offices while renewing work contracts and dealing inappropriately with Kuwaiti citizens.
The violations also include the Philippines Embassy’s failure to authenticate the work contract without a legal justification, housing Filipinos who violated residence laws at private shelters and camps belonging to the embassy even though the embassy was aware of their residence status, the letter added.
The Philippines government had requested a meeting to be held on Wednesday to discuss the entry ban. Kuwaiti officials had called on the Philippines to recognize the violations, however, the Filipino delegation refused to recognize any of the violations.
The ban on Filipinos in Kuwait comes amid heightened tensions between the two countries after the horrific rape and murder of domestic worker Jullebee Ranara by a Kuwaiti teenager in January 2023 pushed hundreds of Filipinos to leave the country.
About 268,000 Filipino workers are employed in Kuwait. According to data from the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), there were more than 24,000 cases of violation and abuse against Filipino workers in 2022 alone.
The DMW instances of abuse against Filipino workers have increased in recent years, with dozens reporting cases of rape, human trafficking, labor contract violations, and illegal terminations.
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