Kuwait: Bring Domestic Workers under Labor Law’s Mantle

(New York) - Kuwaiti lawmakers should include domestic workers under a major new labor law, Human Rights Watch said today. The draft law would toughen penalties for private companies that abuse their workers, but would not extend its protections to the country's 600,000 migrant domestic workers. The law is scheduled for a vote in the National Assembly on December 6, 2009.

About a quarter of the country's two million foreign workers are employed as domestic workers. Because of their isolation in private homes, domestic workers are at particular risk of being forced to work long hours under poor conditions. Embassies of the workers' home countries receive thousands of complaints from domestic workers each year about unpaid wages. Kuwait has no current law setting a minimum wage, limiting working hours, or providing dispute resolution for these workers.

English | December 4, 2009



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