Domestic workers from African countries protest in Lebanon

The Kuwaiti authorities have announced a ban on recruitment of domestic workers from the Gambia and four other countries.

According to the Kuwaiti General Directorate of Residence Affairs the Gambia was included in the list with Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Bhutan, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau.

No reason has been offered by the Kuwaiti authorities for this new tough stance on migrants seeking domestic work in the country.

The recent ban raises the list of banned countries to 20. Among the African countries banned from taking up domestic work in Kuwait include Senegal, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana, Djibouti,Kenya, Uganda, Togo, Malawi, Chad, Niger, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Madagascar.

Domestic workers from these five African – Cameroon, the Congo, Burundi, Eritrea and Liberia – only faced a temporary ban.

Awa Jarjue

An estimated 200, 000 migrant domestic workers from the Gambia and other African countries live and work in the Middle East. They arrive in hope of earning money to send back to their families at home.

Reports of non-payment of wages, deprivation of movement, and physical and sexual abuse are widespread, and dozens run away from their employers every week.

A Gambian domestic worker, identified as Awa Jarjur, was recently reported to have been killed in Lebanon by her employer.

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