Govt mulls to lift ban on Nepalese domestic helps in Gulf
Even as the government is yet to lift the ban on Nepalese women domestic helpers in Kuwait and the Gulf countries in general, its new embassy in Kuwait is busy preparing for an imminent government decision to lift the ban.
Pushpa Bhattarai, Second Secretary of Nepal to Kuwait told Kuwait Times that the ban will be lifted as soon as possible, so as to monitor citizens’ entry and exit from the country.
In its earlier decision the government has banned household works in the Gulf including Kuwait in the early 1990′s for security reasons. It hasn’t lift to this date. Bhattaria said even with the current ban, many of their women are entering the country illegally through various ways/means.
The problem with the current set up is that, we do not have any control/records of their entry. This makes it difficult to monitor their movements closely. If the ban is lifted, monitoring should be easier. We are mandated by our government to monitor and protect our countrymen regardless of whether they enter here illegally through individual recruiters or agencies,” he said.
He noted that coordination between local recruitment agencies and its counterparts in Nepal are necessary to monitor their citizens’ entry into Gulf countries.
The official said that manpower recruitment agencies in Nepal should be affiliated to local agencies here so that workers can be monitored, adding that they would no longer tolerate individual recruitments.
“The problem arises from the manpower recruitment agencies, especially with individual recruiters. If they do not have any partner agencies in Kuwait, how can we solve workers’ problems here,” he queried.
According to Bhattarai, many recruited from Nepal were being misguided by the recruitment agencies, especially by individual recruiters who hire illiterate, untrained domestic helpers. “Many are not properly oriented on real jobs, conditions, traditions and Kuwaiti culture. They hardly speak English. If they start working, and if employers do not like their jobs, they’ll be in a bad situation, confused and many are lost,” he added.
It will be easier and there will be less headache, if it happens,” he reiterated. “I think there are about 400 recruitment agencies right now, if we could reduce them to at least 20, then, it will be easier to deal/handle the situation. These agencies should employ at least one or two Nepalese women, so that our citizens concerns are addressed properly,” he pointed out.
In case the ban is lifted, the Nepal government may compel agencies to train domestic helpers says Bhattarai. “If there’s a system in place, employers would know they are hiring competent people. If hired housemaids do not conform with their requirements, they can easily return them to agencies,” he said.
There are about 100 runaway housemaids lodged at their embassy. Most of them are victims of ‘individual recruiters’ who disappear moments after the workers leave Nepal. The Nepalese community in Kuwait are around 50,000 in Kuwait, of which, 30,000 are women.