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Wednesday July 24, 2024

Kuwait lifts visa ban on Philippines workers after row

By AFP
June 25, 2024
Overseas Filipino Workers from Kuwait hold their documents as they queue upon their arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay city, Metro Manila, Philippines. — Reuters/file
Overseas Filipino Workers from Kuwait hold their documents as they queue upon their arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay city, Metro Manila, Philippines. — Reuters/file

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait said on Monday it would lift a visa ban on domestic workers from the Philippines after a year-long suspension sparked by a row over the rights of employers and employees.

An interior ministry statement carried by the official KUNA news agency said the oil-rich Gulf state and Manila had reached an “agreement to resume the recruitment of domestic workers” after a “breakthrough” in talks.

“The countries agreed to form a joint committee pertinent to domestic labour affairs,” the statement said. This “would convene in a routine manner to address any sticking points that could potentially emerge”, it added.

Kuwait suspended all new visas for Philippine nationals in May last year after relations soured over the murder of domestic worker Jullebee Ranara. Her charred body was found in the Kuwaiti desert in January 2023, prompting Manila to stop sending first-time workers to Kuwait.

It sparked the latest in a series of spats between the Philipines and Kuwait, which is home to a sizable domestic worker population. In 2020, the Philippines reimposed a ban on its citizens going to work in Kuwait after a Filipina was allegedly killed by her employer.

That incident echoed a 2018 row between the two countries that began with the discovery of the remains of a murdered Filipina maid in her employers´ freezer.