Kuwait cracks down on human trafficking after shocking BBC exposure

Published:  5 Nov at 6 PM
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Tagged: Jobs
Following a harrowing exposure of slave trading by the BBC, Kuwait is cracking down on black market social media sales of domestic workers.

The shocking BBC News report told it like it was for expatriate domestic workers who arrive from Southeast Asia to take up jobs as domestic help for wealthy Kuwaiti families only to find themselves sold on by means of adverts on social media websites such as 4sale. Many were sold more than once, usually for prices well in excess of $2,000. The hard-hitting expose tracked one unfortunate female domestic worker through several owners during a short space of time.

Kuwaiti authorities are now issuing statements suggesting Kuwaiti nationals should increase their awareness of human rights, especially in the case of domestic workers. Apparently, Kuwait laws ban human trafficking as well as prohibiting the regular confiscation by sponsors of expat domestic workers’ passports, whilst other spokesmen are insisting Kuwaitis are ‘good and loving people’ who just don’t understand that their responsibilities don’t include selling on their domestic workers.

It seems 4sale has now removed the many pages of adverts featuring female domestic workers for sale and have agreed not to post such pages again. Those responsible for the social media ads are now being investigated by the emirate’s General Department for Criminal Investigation, the which has not yet released any reports. Kuwaiti human rights activists have taken up the cause, and sources have also revealed the majority of domestic workers being sold on are from the Philippines.

Several expat gangs involved in the online sales have apparently now been arrested for trafficking Asian maids into the emirate during the first six months of this year. All involved have now been deported as well as being blacklisted in an attempt to prevent their return. Unfortunately, the domestic worker victims who’ve been found have also been deported as they violated Kuwait’s laws against human trafficking simply by being sold on.
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