India, Kuwait sign pacts to protect rights of Indian domestic workers

New DelhiUpdated: Jun 12, 2021, 12:09 AM IST
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The signing of the pact Photograph:(WION)

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The pact, on the anvil for a long time, was signed during External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's visit to the country

In a significant move, India and Kuwait have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation that will protect the rights of Indian domestic workers in Kuwait by introducing employment contracts that provides them with the protection of Law. 

The pact, on the anvil for a long time, was signed during External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's visit to the country. It streamlines the recruitment process for Indian workers. The MoU focusses on the signing of contracts that ensure the rights and obligations of both Kuwaiti employers and Indian domestic workers. 

EAM speaking to the Indian Diaspora in Kuwait said that the MoU, "streamlines and strengthens the position of our workers in Kuwait" and it is "an important step which would encourage greater Indian presence" in the country.

The MoU was signed by India's Ambassador to Kuwait Sibi George and Kuwait's Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Majdi Ahmad Al–Dhafiri. Under the MoU, a 24-hour mechanism will be established to assist domestic workers. Also, a joint committee will be established for periodic review and assessment and a follow-up to the implementation of MoU.

Kuwait hosts, over one million Indian community members. They form the largest expatriate community in the West Asian country. The Indian embassy has an Indian Workers’ Welfare Centre which provides a toll-free 24x7 telephonic helpline for Indian domestic workers, a labour complaint redressal mechanism and accommodation for domestic workers in distress and other services.

India's External Affairs Minister was on a 3-day visit to the country as part of increased political engagement between the 2 countries. During the meeting, he called on Kuwait's PM Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and held delegation-level talks with FM Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah.

Indian foreign minister during the talks conveyed to Kuwaiti leadership the country's efforts and role amid the 2nd wave of Covid pandemic in India. Kuwait and India had established an air and sea bridge under which the West Asian country had sent Liquid Medical Oxygen and Oxygen containers to deal with the crisis.

Later this year, India and Kuwait will hold the first meeting of the Kuwait-India joint commission and will also plan early meeting of joint working groups on health, hydrocarbon and manpower. This year both sides celebrate the 60th year of diplomatic ties, one that will continue through the year 2021-2022.