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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2705

Working conditions and salary structure of Sri Lankan housemaids to be streamlined

Colombo, 07 November, (Asiantribune.com): Arrangements are being made to receive Sri Lankan housemaids arriving in Kuwait by Sri Lanka Embassy representatives at the airport. From the airport housemaids are to be taken to Transit Centers which would be run and managed by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Employment, Promotion and Welfare in Kuwait before being allowed to go to their respective sponsor’s homes.

At present, when female workers are sent to Middle East and Gulf countries, they have to wait and languish at the airports, sometimes for two to three days after their arrival, before sponsors come and take them to their homes. Usually agents in Colombo normally send housemaids empty handed without even a dollar in their possession. When they arrive in the airports in foreign countries, they are helpless and usually at the mercy of others. Once these Sri Lankan ladies arrive in the airports they are compelled to wait for the sponsors, sometime for days even without food and water.

Dr. Keheliya Rambukawella, Minister of Foreign Employment, promotion and Welfare told Asian Tribune, that last week when he visited Kuwait on an official duty, he came across a group of Sri Lankan young ladies at the Kuwait airport waiting for more than 14 hours for their sponsors to clear and to take them to their homes.

Minister Dr. Keheliya Rambukawella said that after seeing the miserable plight of those ladies, he has requested the Sri Lanka Embassy in Kuwait to set up a transit centre in Kuwait, so that housemaids from Sri Lanka could be received by the embassy officials at the airport and then taken to the transit centres for them to take rest from their long air journey.

He added that the sponsors could arrive at the transit centre, sign the necessary agreements with the respective worker in front of the Sri Lankan officials, setting out the terms and condition of work. While signing the agreement the sponsor has to provide Photostat copies of their photo identity and all the other personal details in the agreement.

He added that at present housemaids in Kuwait receives, on an average, a monthly salary of USD 235 to 250. Minister said that at present they are studying a proposal for a minimum salary structure for Sri Lankan housemaids and once finalized that would be made mandatory.

According to available statistics at present there around 103,000 Sri Lankan, both males and females employed in Kuwait and out this total 80,000 are female workers.

- Asian Tribune -

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