India and Kuwait sign pacts to protect Indian domestic workers’ rights

India and Kuwait sign pacts to protect Indian domestic workers’ rights


In a major step, India and Kuwait have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation that protects the rights of Indian domestic workers in Kuwait by introducing employment contracts that give them the protection of the law.

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In a major step, India and Kuwait have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation that protects the rights of Indian domestic workers in Kuwait by introducing employment contracts that give them the protection of the law.

The pact, long on the anvil, was signed during Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar’s visit to the country. It streamlines the recruiting process for Indian workers. The MoU focuses on signing contracts that guarantee the rights and obligations of both Kuwaiti employers and Indian domestic workers.

Speaking to the Indian diaspora in Kuwait, EAM said the MoU “streamlines and strengthens the position of our workers in Kuwait” and it is “an important step that would encourage a stronger Indian presence” in the country.

The MoU was signed by the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait Sibi George and the Deputy Foreign Minister of Kuwait, Majdi Ahmad Al-Dhafiri. As part of the MoU, a 24-hour mechanism to support domestic workers is being set up. A joint committee will also be set up to regularly review, evaluate and follow up on the implementation of the MoU.

Kuwait is home to over a million Indian parishioners. They form the largest expatriate community in the West Asian country. The Indian Embassy has an Indian Workers’ Welfare Center which provides a 24×7 toll-free telephone line for Indian domestic workers, a work complaint redress mechanism and shelter for domestic workers in need, and other services.

India’s Foreign Minister was on a three-day visit to the country as part of increased political engagement between the two countries. During the meeting he visited the Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and held talks at delegation level with FM Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah.

During the talks, the Indian Foreign Minister conveyed to the Kuwaiti leadership the country’s efforts and role amid the second wave of the Covid pandemic in India. Kuwait and India had built an air and sea bridge under which the West Asian country had sent liquid medical oxygen and oxygen tanks to deal with the crisis.

Later this year, India and Kuwait will hold the first meeting of the Kuwait-India Joint Commission and also plan an early meeting of Joint Working Groups on Health, Hydrocarbon and Manpower. This year both sides celebrate the 60th year of diplomatic relations, which will last in 2021-2022.

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