INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Kuwaiti Shelter for Domestic Laborers Almost Open

Published: Thu 5 Jan 2006 07:51 AM
VZCZCXRO3049
RR RUEHDE
DE RUEHKU #0042 0050751
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050751Z JAN 06
FM AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2411
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0064
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 0514
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0329
UNCLAS KUWAIT 000042
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
FOR NEA/ARPI AND G/TIP
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM ELAB KCRM KU
SUBJECT: KUWAITI SHELTER FOR DOMESTIC LABORERS ALMOST OPEN
FOR BUSINESS
REF: 05 KUWAIT 3702
1. (U) Summary: Kuwaiti Union for Domestic Labor Offices
(KUDLO) Director General Hashim Maged Sayyid Mohammad told us
January 3 that he is waiting for final Interior Ministry
approval in order to open a 50-bed shelter for domestic
workers. The KUDLO-funded and run shelter will also offer
legal services. Maged also shared a copy of the first edition
of an Arabic magazine designed to raise awareness of labor
issues in Kuwait. End summary.
KUDLO Shelter for Domestic Workers Ready for Business
--------------------------------------------- --------
2. (U) Poloff and LES Political Assistant visited KUDLO's
headquarters on January 3. Director General Maged gave a tour
of his soon-to-be-opened shelter and reported that Ministry
of the Interior (MOI) officials have visited the shelter and
approved it. He estimates that the shelter will open its
doors in February after the MOI finalizes the necessary
paperwork. It is a basic, but clean, facility including
approximately 50 beds, several bathrooms, a recreation room,
and 2 kitchens. The facility also has a computer with a
direct hookup to the MOI, in order to process workers' visas.
KUDLO has plans to expand the shelter to eventually house
400 workers.
Shelter to Provide Legal Counseling
-----------------------------------
3. (U) Maged has plans to create booths within the shelter
where representatives of source-country embassies can counsel
their constituents. Maged is also the Executive Assistant
Chairman and General Manager of Al-Haqooq International, Co.,
a legal services company, which has contracts with the
embassies of India, the Philippines, and Indonesia to provide
legal counseling. He said workers would have their cases
handled within four days.
4. (SBU) When asked about the funding for this shelter,
Maged said it was from "his pocket." The labor officer at the
Indian Embassy confirmed that his Embassy had signed a
contract in November 2005 to send domestic laborers with
legal complaints to Al-Haqooq. He stated that it costs
neither the Embassy nor the worker any money, and that
Al-Haqooq has been very successful in helping workers in the
courtroom. He surmised that Maged was doing this as pro bono
work, but that it also reflected well on his reputation.
Maged operates three domestic employment agencies.
Magazine to Raise Awareness of Domestic Labor Issues
--------------------------------------------- -------
5. (U) The KUDLO representative also provided copies of the
first edition of its new magazine, entitled Ard al-Khayr (The
Land of Goodness). The magazine contains articles advising
Kuwaitis of their legal obligations to domestic workers, the
history of domestic labor in Kuwait, and KUDLO's goals of
formalizing Kuwait's domestic labor sector. KUDLO plans to
distribute the magazine in the relevant ministries as well as
in domestic labor offices.
*********************************************
Visit Embassy Kuwait's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/kuwait/
You can also access this site through the
State Department's Classified SIPRNET website
*********************************************
LeBaron
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