Author Topic: Kuwait - PH worker's row  (Read 340 times)

adroth

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Kuwait - PH worker's row
« on: February 21, 2018, 09:14:01 PM »
Kuwait invites Philippine president to visit amid workers row
Reuters Staff

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-kuwait-labour/kuwait-invites-philippine-president-to-visit-amid-workers-row-idUSKCN1G31GS

KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait has invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to visit, state news agency KUNA said on Monday, as the countries seek to settle their differences over allegations of extreme abuse of migrant workers in the wealthy Gulf state.

After the body of a Filipino was discovered in a freezer in a Kuwait apartment, Duterte arranged free flights for workers wishing to leave - an evacuation that Kuwait said was an unnecessary escalation of a diplomatic rift.

The Philippines suspended sending workers to Kuwait in January after reports that abuse by employers had driven several to suicide.

Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid al-Jarallah said on Monday that the two countries had agreed to sign a deal to regulate working conditions.

< Edited >

Two planes full of workers arrived in Manila from Kuwait last week on flights provided for free by commercial airlines at the president’s request. The Philippine labor minister has said more than 2,200 Filipinos were ready to take up the offer to be repatriated.

< Edited >
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 09:56:51 AM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: Kuwait - PH worker's row
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2018, 09:15:41 PM »
Philippine officials to visit Kuwait amid worker row
A team led by Labor Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunzad III will also visit Saudi Arabia and Qatar to ensure that Filipino workers 'have sufficient protection'

Agence France-Presse
@afp
Published 4:55 PM, February 21, 2018
Updated 4:55 PM, February 21, 2018

https://www.rappler.com/nation/196570-philippines-officials-visit-kuwait-ofws-dispute

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine officials are headed to Kuwait on Thursday, February 22, to seek greater protection for migrant workers after a diplomatic row over the alleged mistreatment of Filipinos in the Gulf state.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III told reporters on Wednesday, February 21, one of his deputies would lead the delegation, which is also due to stop in Saudi Arabia and Qatar to urge reforms.

Topping the list are demands that Filipino workers be allowed to keep their cellphones and passports, which can be confiscated by employers.

The trip comes after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte last week announced a departure ban for Filipinos planning to work in Kuwait.

< Edited >

adroth

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Re: Kuwait - PH worker's row
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2018, 08:24:35 PM »
Philippines-Kuwait ties: How bad is the diplomatic crisis?
Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) - April 28, 2018 - 10:31am

MANILA, Philippines — After declaring Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa persona non grata, the Kuwaiti government immediately recalled Ambassador Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh despite the assurances he gave to the Philippine government.

Villa appears to be the first Filipino envoy who has been expelled by his host country in recent history.

Claiming that Philippine Embassy personnel violated domestic laws and international treaties, the Kuwaiti government expelled Villa and gave him a week to return to Manila.

What angers Kuwait

Kuwait's Ministry of Foreign Affairs first summoned Villa and handed him two diplomatic protest notes related to his remarks against the State of Kuwait and a video showing Philippine Embassy officials rescuing distressed Filipino domestic workers from their employers' homes.

Villa explained to Kuwaiti authorities that the operations were done in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior.

The video that angered Kuwait was initially released by the Department of Foreign Affairs on April 19. It was sent to the DFA Press Corps Viber group, making it free for reporters to use. The release of the video might have been a lapse on the part of the department, which was deemed unnecessary by critics.

A ranking DFA official reportedly authorized intensified operations to rescue distressed workers, which the Kuwaiti government claimed as a violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Provision 41 of the Vienna Convention "bars infringement on individuals' prerogatives and immunities, respecting states' laws and non-intervening in their local affairs."

Expelling an ambassador means that the host country is signaling displeasure with the sending country's policies or a signal of displeasure to that particular person, according to former US Foreign Service Officer John Burgess in a post on Quora.

The absence of the ambassador in a country with more than 250,000 Filipino workers also signals uncertainty whether the memorandum of agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait would be signed. The withdrawal of the ambassador serves as an act of protest and may pave the way for the breakdown of bilateral ties, as what happened between Manila and Kuala Lumpur in the wake of the Sabah dispute.

This would have serious complications for Filipino workers as the embassy serves as a safe haven for them, which would now function without an ambassador when Villa returns to the Philippines.

The expulsion of Villa and the recall of Saleh comes as the Philippines and Kuwait are slated to sign a memorandum of understanding, which is now in limbo due to the diplomatic conflict between the two countries.

The agreement was supposed to secure the safety of Filipino workers in Kuwait and put in place some mechanisms such as strengthening the 24-7 hotline for distressed workers, establishing a shelter for workers and coordinating with local Kuwaiti authorities in providing assistance to Filipinos.

< Edited >

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/04/28/1810008/philippines-kuwait-ties-how-bad-diplomatic-crisis#cvLSuCBYvTyhTuQQ.99

adroth

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Re: Kuwait - PH worker's row
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2018, 08:31:45 PM »
Philippines makes ban on workers going to Kuwait permanent
By Iya Forbes | AP April 29 at 7:13 AM

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/philippines-makes-ban-on-workers-going-to-kuwait-permanent/2018/04/29/fd3bcf10-4b98-11e8-85c1-9326c4511033_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0a33b030539e

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday that a ban on Filipino workers from heading to Kuwait that’s been in effect since February would now be permanent, inflaming a dispute sparked by complaints of the abuse of Filipina housemaids and workers in the Gulf country.

Kuwait on Wednesday expelled the Philippine ambassador and recalled its own envoy from Manila over the dispute. The highly unusual move came as a surprise in Kuwait, a typically sedate and oil-rich nation that has been both a long target of Duterte’s criticism and heavily reliant on Filipina nannies and maids.

“The ban stays permanently,” Duterte said at a news briefing in southern Davao City after arriving from Singapore, where he attended a summit of Southeast Asian leaders. “There will be no more recruitment for especially domestic helpers. No more.”

< Edited >

adroth

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Re: Kuwait - PH worker's row
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2018, 09:07:41 PM »
A video sent by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) shows the rescue of a distressed overseas Filipino worker in Kuwait. This is the video that the DFA sent to reporters at 3:01 pm on April 19, 2018.

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9z8TEd4Hl8

Part 2: https://youtu.be/nm_h5j3bCOE

Ayoshi

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Re: Kuwait - PH worker's row
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2018, 04:51:18 PM »
Palace: Duterte not taking blame for Cayetano over Kuwait row | Philstar - April 30, 2018
Quote
The Kuwaiti government had expelled Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa, declared the Filipino envoy persona non grata and had recalled Kuwaiti Ambassador Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh to his capital.

As Duterte announces that the deployment ban of Filipino workers to Kuwait remains, it is unclear whether the memorandum of understanding between the Philippines and Kuwait would be signed.

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait was accused of violating state laws and the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations for conducting rescue operations for distressed Filipino domestic workers.

The Kuwaiti government was further angered when a video showing how embassy officials rescued Filipino workers went viral. The video was released by the Department of Foreign Affairs, which Cayetano heads.

=====

Kuwait rejects breach of laws, but ready to work with Manila | kuwaittimes.net
Quote
Kuwait/Manila: Kuwait rejects any breach against its sovereignty or laws and will act decisively against any relevant attempt, Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah affirmed yesterday in reference to a diplomatic row with Manila. Jarallah, reacting to remarks by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday, said Kuwait was ready to cooperate with Manila to explore all means to address labor issues, including 800 Filipino citizens who are currently in shelters.

< snipped >

The two nations had been negotiating a labor deal that Philippine officials said could result in the lifting of the temporary ban but the recent escalation in tensions has put an agreement in doubt. “The ban stays permanently. There will be no more recruitment for especially domestic helpers. No more,” Duterte told reporters in his hometown in the southern city of Davao.
Speaking after a meeting held by Kuwaiti authorities yesterday regarding the row, Jarallah said Kuwait is keen on maintaining the safety and rights of all expatriates including the Filipino community within the labor laws of the country, which have been praised by international human rights agencies. He appreciated the contributions of Filipinos, who are working in different sectors.

adroth

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Re: Kuwait - PH worker's row
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2018, 11:41:53 PM »
Philippines welcomes Kuwait's willingness to address OFW concerns
Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) - May 1, 2018 - 10:10am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government acknowledged the assurances of Kuwait that it will cooperate in addressing the concerns of Filipino workers in the Gulf state.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano welcomed the statement of Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah, who said that Kuwait was willing to work with the Philippines in resolving labor issues.

"This gesture on the part of Kuwait, a country with which we have a shared history and strong people-to-people ties, will allow us to move forward and hurdle the challenges we face," Cayetano said.

The Philippines' top diplomat stressed that protecting the welfare of Filipino workers was a shared goal between the two countries.

< Edited >


Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/05/01/1811189/philippines-welcomes-kuwaits-willingness-address-ofw-concerns#CvQZTJHDzf3i3GzU.99

adroth

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Re: Kuwait - PH worker's row
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2018, 09:37:18 PM »
From: https://www.facebook.com/elmercato/posts/10155662744567532

STATEMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY ALAN PETER S. CAYETANO ON THE SIGNING OF THE MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE PHILIPPINES AND KUWAIT

Almost two weeks ago, in Singapore, we conveyed our commitment to work with our counterparts in Kuwait to achieve our shared goal of strengthening our bilateral ties based on what we hope would be a common desire to ensure the well-being of our kababayans there.

We also said there that if we reach an understanding on the direction we both want to go, the relations between the Philippines and Kuwait would become stronger than ever.

Today, we succeeded in doing just that. A few minutes ago, we brought the relationship between our two countries to a higher level with the formal signing of the Agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait on the Employment of Household Service Workers.

With the signing of the agreement and the approval of the additional guarantees that we asked our Kuwaiti friends to extend, the more than 250,000 Filipinos in Kuwait can now be assured of prompt and effective assistance if needed.

The successful outcome of our engagement with Kuwait would not have been possible without the guidance of the President who made it clear since the start that in our negotiations, the well-being of Filipinos abroad should always be paramount.

It was the President who actually charted the course that the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Labor and Employment, and the Office of the President took in addressing the concerns of our nationals in Kuwait.

We are also grateful for the patience and kind understanding of our counterparts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Interior of the State of Kuwait. We thank them for their willingness to work with us to achieve our shared goals.

We also thank Secretary Silvestre Bello III and his team from the Department of Labor and Employment, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Philippines Overseas Labor Office in Kuwait; Special Envoy Abdullah Mama-o and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque for the important role they played in ensuring the success of our collective efforts.

We also thank colleagues in the Department of Foreign Affairs, particularly Ambassador Renato Villa and Consul General Noordin Lomondot, for helping set the stage for a successful outcome of these negotiations and the rest of the men and women of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait and in the Home Office in Manila.

Lastly, we thank our more than 10 million Filipinos overseas, especially those in Kuwait—our new heroes or bagong bayani—who are the ones our government has vowed to protect and whose well-being we will continue to promote.

Kuwait, 11 May 2018