Indonesia Lifting Ban on Workers in Kuwait: Bad Idea


I just read an article in The Kuwait Times about Indonesia and Kuwait being in the talks on lifting a ban to allow domestic workers to come back into the country...what has happened in Kuwait to send positive signals that the climate for domestic workers has improved?! Zilch. Rather it has gotten worse (thanks to Ben Garcia for his IN-DEPTH and POIGNANT reporting and interview with two maids hospitalized after falling from buildings). More alarming is the nature of reaching agreement that they would seal the deal-a memo of understanding:
The memorandum could include the introduction of a mandatory monthly minimum wage and weekly day's holiday for Indonesian workers and an end to employers being allowed to retain their passports.

How would this become "mandatory" when wages and holiday leave allowance are largely dictated by the decision of the families themselves? To what authority would the maid be able to report to if these allowances have been denied to her by her employer? The embassy?! This is not the duty of an embassy and and "MoU" shows no real commitment to enforcement, in fact its absurd. Indonesia should only lift the ban upon legal reforms and demonstrated trial of success in the implementation of these legal changes in the sponsorship system.

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