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Unwarranted Amid Health Risks, Global Travel Restrictions

    (Beirut) – People in immigration detention in Gulf countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid health risks and global travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Human…
A worker rests at his accommodation in Qadisiya labor camp, Saudi Arabia August 17, 2016.
News

Migration Ban Increases Abuse Risk

(Beirut) – The Philippines’ new ban on Filipinos migrating to Kuwait for work is likely to increase abuses of workers who are forced to resort to unsafe and unregulated channels to enter the country, Human Rights Watch said today. Kuwait and the…
News
“If you want to go back [home], you have to pay back the money we spent to bring you here.” “Atiya Z.” (not her real name) and I were sitting under a veranda, shaded from the hot sun in Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital of Tanzania, when…
Employment visa from Oman in the passport of a former Tanzanian domestic worker. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News
“Rashida,” from Kigamboni in Tanzania’s commercial capital of Dar es Salaam, said a recruiter promised her a job as a domestic worker for a family in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Instead, she wound up in a recruitment…
Illustration of a domestic worker exploited in Oman.
News

Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

We welcome the first report of the Independent Expert on SOGI-related violence and discrimination. We recognize that some States opposed creation of the mandate, but are encouraged that it was reaffirmed by the General Assembly with support from all UN…
Delegates arrive for the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2017.
News

Video Shows Moment That Domestic Worker Screams for Help, Falls

Last week, a horrifying video of an Ethiopian domestic worker falling from what media reports say is the seventh floor of an apartment building in Kuwait went viral. The video appears to have been filmed by the worker’s employer inside the flat with the…
A female employer and her children are accompanied by their domestic worker, back right, as they walk through The Avenues, an indoor luxury shopping center in Kuwait City.
News
His Excellency Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kuwait City The State of Kuwait Your Excellency, I write to…
News
“Maria,” a Ugandan worker, paid $400 in 2013 to an agency in the United Arab Emirates that promised her a job in a mall in Dubai. Instead, the agency placed her as a domestic worker with half the salary she had been promised. Maria told me that her…
A female employer and her children are accompanied by their domestic worker, back right, as they walk through The Avenues, an indoor luxury shopping center in Kuwait City.
News

Guarantees Crucial Rights, but Gaps Remain

(Beirut) – Kuwaiti legislators’ adoption on June 24, 2015, of a new law giving domestic workers enforceable labor rights is a major breakthrough that should lead other Gulf states to take similar action. Kuwaiti authorities should rigorously carry out the…
A female employer and her children are accompanied by their domestic worker, back right, as they walk through The Avenues, an indoor luxury shopping center in Kuwait City.
News

Joint statement on the Impact on human rights defenders

Violent acts by non-state groups against the general population for political purposes are abhorrent crimes that, when widespread or systematic, can amount to crimes against humanity.  We unequivocally condemn such acts, and extend our solidarity and…
News

Updated in December 2014

(Updates highlighted in bold) Background There have been some encouraging reforms in Kuwait since its last UPR in 2010. For example, in January 2013 a judicial decision granted women the right to apply for posts as prosecutors, allowing them to…
News

Legal Advances in Two Dozen Countries Globally as New Treaty Enters Into Force

(Montevideo) – The Middle East depends heavily on domestic workers but trails other regions in adopting critical reforms to protect their rights, the International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and…
Report
Summary Kuwaiti people treat domestic workers like members of the family. There is no difference between them and any member of the family. —Mohammed al-Kandari, undersecretary of social affairs and labor, Kuwait, November…
News

Scant Protection Against Mistreatment and Abuse

(Kuwait City) - Domestic workers in Kuwait who try to escape abusive employers face criminal charges for "absconding" and are unable to change jobs without their employer's permission, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Migrant domestic…
News

Planned Reform Should Include Monitoring and Apply to Domestic Workers

(New York) - The Kuwaiti government's announcement that it will abolish its employer-based sponsorship system for recruiting migrant workers by February 2011 is a significant step to address a major source of labor abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. It…
News

Oral statement on the UPR outcome

We understand that the National Assembly will review draft domestic worker legislation that would limit working hours and require a weekly day off and timely payment of salaries; we note that domestic workers also must be able to terminate employment at…
News

Government Should Accept Recommendations for Concrete Improvements at UN Review

(Geneva) – Kuwait should accept recommendations on protecting the rights of migrant domestic workers and stateless persons made today by United Nations member countries, Human Rights Watch said. The UN Human Rights Council examined Kuwait’s human rights…