Kuwait Law: Domestic Workers Rights


There’s an estimated 600,000 domestic workers in Kuwait and it’s no secret locally and internationally on how some domestic workers are being treated like slaves in Kuwait (and in the region). I don’t know if the majority of house help in Kuwait have access to internet, but I get a fair amount of emails asking for urgent help. From being kicked to being burnt to working 20 hours a day with no medical access and obviously they’re held as prisoners. In some ways it is modern day slavery.

What makes it worse is that there are no concrete laws designed to protect domestic workers in Kuwait. Domestic workers do not fall under Kuwait Labor Law for the private sector, I don’t want to get into the legality of it as it is complicated and really not useful. Do we really need laws to act human? (I don’t know, maybe the philosopher Kant was right)

I am going to write it out, even though it should be common sense

1) 8 hours a day, within reasonable timings. They are humans, they require rest.
2) No physical abuse! No emotional abuse! If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
3) Give them their passports, you cannot legally keep them.
4) Give them a day or maybe two a week off. Yes off, and off means they can leave the house if they want to. If they want to go to the movies at Cinemagic then they can.
5) They aren’t slaves, don’t lock them in.
6) They aren’t your 14 year old daughters, if they want to date guess what? They can.
7) Give them reasonable pay. 50KD a month is not reasonable, just cause its reasonable in India (where they might be from) it is not reasonable here. They work and live here.

I am sure there are much more things you can do to make their lives better, if you live in a house and your house help are being abused feel free to email me. (I won’t tell your mum, strictly confidential). If you are a domestic worker, also, feel free to email me as well [email protected].

I am also happy to announce that I am working with the Social Work Society of Kuwait. The society does advocacy work and provides social and legal services for the vulnerable population in Kuwait. Currently most of its efforts are focused in providing advocacy and protection for migrant workers. Kindly note, that your emails will be confidential but will be forwarded to them, so I will not be the only person handling your case.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.

Photo from GulfNews

163 replies on “Kuwait Law: Domestic Workers Rights”

Good day sir,im thankful coz i saw ur article and hopefully u can help us(dh workers) here in kuwait. Actually almost all of the new workers came here maybe 70% doesnt have a rest day and having 16 working hours a day or even more than that. We came here legally with the contract and the problem is my agency didnt emplemeted mostly of those laws. I talked to them about this matters but they didnt take it seriously,they just said that my complain is not really important than other problems like physical abuse or not being payed… pls sir i would like to know what can i do to get restday or to make them follow the law aside from telling my employer which i already did last 6 months and until now i didnt get a restday…
thank u and hoping for ur reply..

Hello Fajer , I am from Belgium and my girlfriend is Filipino . She works in Kuwait . My question to you is if you know what I can do to get some news about her coz I can’t reach her anymore . This is not normal and makes me worried very much afther reading all the news about domestic workers in Kuwait .

have a good day everyone!

i am currrently working in kuwait,
2 employers and 2 houses everyday.
when i took my day off , i need to finish first the two houses,
i dont understand why or how they called day off.
i was conplaining that i cant handle 2 employers, and they kept on telling me, temporary only, until i am 5mos. now, even i felt very exhausted every, i used to finished all the job done, and instead they were happy, from saving thier money, as supposedly, they paid x2 to the worker, i got complains. what a inhumanity kuwaiti. they save alot from cheating salary from their worker to become them more wealthy but poor spirit.

they are welknown here in kuwait, and one of thier family member is part of the human right organization, but it doesnt show up even fof thier worker.
only showing to others especially to thier beloved country. being famous name. but poor heart and spirit.

wealthy but a cheater for the human right and even for worker salary, and food.
i dont know how they can live with thier wealth, thay they cannot even provide food for their worker. they cannot provide rest for worker.

and even that kuwaiti employer told me, if i transfer so many kuwaiti are harsh and bad to their worker.
so the fact is she admit that kuwaiti are severly inhumanity.
sorry for good kuwaiti.
but majority kuwaiti are bad.

talking differently and acting differently.

only words are good but they dont act good.

just think no matter how big your banks are, how big is your houses,
we still have the same Grave!!!

thank you!!!

I’m so sorry I wish I could help, this is so very sad. I wish I had a solution. There is a philipino lawyer in the states she helps people in kuwait sometimes. I KNEW HER 10 YRS AGO HER NAME IS GLORIA COLOGNE IN Virgina.

In Kuwait no one gives us money after doing our work, so how and whom we wanted to get help

Good morning sir. Am Diane I worked as a maid in kuwait. I saw your e-mail address in Google. I ran away from my sponsor house after i had worked for 16 months. I letf on the 6th of May 2019. The last time I spoke to him,he said I should fine someone to take my passport so he can release me. But I couldn’t get anybody since then.i don’t know if it’s necessary or not to go for it. Cause I don’t know the visa status now that I have been out for long. If I will pay overstay in case I wanna renew. Please sir you help. Thanks in advance.

thank you Fajer for the great selection of topics for 248am readers.
this one is a very bitter one and government has to do something about it at the earliest. it’s human rights after all.
the one and only thing I would say to any employer is to put himself in his employees shoes before acting/saying anything to them.

“6) They aren’t your 14 year old daughters, if they want to date guess what? They can.”

Sure, as long as they do it outside of the house and don’t let their boyfriend in when you’re at work

@Souma as soon as freedom is given to people, they immediately have the freedom to do stupid shit. It is very likely that you and I do a lot of stupid shit cus we have a lot of freedom. But as soon as people start confiscating passports, or preventing ppl from having dates etc – WE become the people who tell others they have no freedom. A real freedom means people are free to make mistakes – and as maids get more freedom in kuwait yes there will be more social problems but they are NECESSARY social problems. Only complete slaves cause absolutely no problems. equality doesnt look like that

Well what if they want to get pregnant outside of a marriage? You shouldn’t have a say in that neither Fajer, as long as it is not in your house. After all, “they aren’t your 14 year old daughter”.

I have a different point of view. Since I am sponsoring them and they live under my house, I feel responsible for there actions and well being. I try to treat them as fairly as I can and I empathize a lot but there is no way I would be cool if my kid’s nanny comes at night all dressed up heading out for a date and comes in the morning to take care of my baby while his mother and I are at work.

While a lot of the domestic workers are smart and some are even graduates, there are still a lot of them that are new to work and to being in a place apart from there home.

I beleive the way the Philippes Embassy handled the situation by enforcing contracts and mimimum requiroements was very efficient. But someone needs to ensure it is being enforced.

What if say you have a business and have a employee who has an affair and gets pregnant then what?
A maid is same like any other worker working in any office, if she works in your house , she is not your slave , you don’t decide on her personnel affairs.
she is grown up she has the understanding of affairs and if she gets pregnant sack her, just like you would do if she is working in your office/shop.

You missed a couple of important lines like

– Showing them how to use condoms or give them birth control pills.. Hell!! Why not let them use my bed as a full package.

For god’s sake, Who pays 50KD a mouth nowadays?? My dear Fajer Wake up!! Its 2015.. No one gets less that 90KD and we are talking about Indian citizens. Yes maybe some get lower pay but the majority get a monthly salary that goes up to 150KD. Don’t forget a room on board clothes!

By the way, they are doing most of the things you mentioned. The problem is that they don’t comply to our values, which require compliance with the law as well as ethical conduct. And if you don’t believe me, check with the nearest police station and let them show you the records. Most of them get caught having sex at their employer’s house (or bed)

Yes, they are human beings, but some of them are stupid. Imagine, someone used your bed to have sex on it! Would you clean it off and forget about the whole things and give her/him a kiss on the cheek?!

Yes Kuwaiti families do pay some Etihopian maids KWD 60 per month. I spoke to one maid last year (2014) who gave me some interesting insights to life of a maid including salaries.

Why hire someone stupid especially to look after your child, cook your food or drive your car? Compliance with the law is good but look at the the road, wasta, corruption are controlled by whom? Ethical as define by what – treat others as you would like to be treated?

If maids are treated so great why Kuwaitis prefer to be unemployed than work as maids (no room and board required and local values preserved)?

Kuwaitis, like all other humans in this world, don’t want to work as maids.

The average Kuwaiti citizen is wealthy. Why would a wealthy person work as a maid?

When Kuwait becomes a poor country, Kuwaitis will start working as maids.

Before the discovery of oil, many Kuwaiti women worked as maids. Many Kuwaiti women worked as maids in India before the discovery of oil. Kuwait and India have deep ties stretching back to the founding of Kuwait. The Indian government even banned Kuwaitis from entering India in 1923 because Kuwaiti merchants were gold smugglers.

I hope one day Kuwaiti women start working as maids in India. History always repeats itself. Our future is our past.

I hope one day you work as my maid. and no kuwaitis never worked as maids in india. stop speaking out of your a. a

All i read is one ignorant person replying to another ignorant person, the whole point of this post is to explain that even the domestic workers have rights, i have worked in an embassy within a department that would help and try to repatriate workers who get harassed, to be fair it is not right to point to nationalities as not all of them are neither good nor bad, it is each individual that makes their choice, yes many maids do exploit freedom given to them but again that does not mean every maid will, it is like saying you have three kids and the eldest one got hurt at school, so you wont sent all of them to school so that they would not get hurt. please be logical and trust me you have no idea what those poor souls go through.

Kuwaiti women were never housekeepers. India should thank God that Kuwait gives them the opportunity and free medical(don’t forget) to be in Kuwait. Not all Kuwaitis are wealthy. It’s sad that tons expats come to my country and ruin Kuwait including causes many Kuwaitis in car accidents. I am just going to keep this short. I wish they deport most of the expats here that take advantage of our kindness in Kuwait. Expats take Kuwaitis’ jobs and much more.

Dear Sarah… I think that Kuwaitis should thank God that expats are here in this country… as we should thank God that we found a job here… is something RECIPROCAL… if tomorrow we all decide to leave this country you guys here will not even know from where to begin because Kuwaiti population with the wealthiness became lazy… that’s a fact…

Then, my dear… most of the people running at high speed and driving like crazy on the streets here are precisely KUWAITIS.. wake up!!!

And to finish… what kindness??? People that comes here in this country ONLY COMES to work… TO WORK… and of course to GET PAID… simple as that… is not charity or “kindness”

And here we have the proof. you can teach em english, give em a fancy car and they still wont have an ounce of empathy or humanity in them.

You are an ignorant person ahmad. there are TONNES of ppl getting less than 90KD in kuwait. just because YOU dont know about it doesnt mean it doesnt happen unless you happen to be some sort of authority on how every household in uwait conducts its business? are you!? oh you are – my apologies!!!

yes the police station – where the police are, that raped that broke into our houses, that harrassed our women, that even raped a filipino.

dude stop showing your ignorance online. thankfully you have a common name otherwise youd be publicising your stupidity.

Mungeeman you are right about how some worker receive every monthi am one of them ,I being played 70kd every month and they don’t even want me to go outside take a little work.NO.they have collect all my document even my civil I’d being watch of my every move,I ate empty rice every day.they tell me everything to do,like what to wear ,when to sleep ,when to ate.I don’t even have a rest day,I am not even allow to go to church.


my mother was a Domestic helper for 6 months and get fired out by her employeer because she complained that they dont have food to eat and her employer decide to return her to her agency without giving her salary for the whole month of hardwork.

“6) They aren’t your 14 year old daughters, if they want to date guess what? They can.”

Having known many people whose house maids ran away with their boyfriends and having had maids in my household that brought men to the house, I’d have to disagree with that one.

Hi, just browsing and came across this. But what does this tell you of the relationship with your helper? If treated like an adult where there is open and frank communication then there should not be a problem. Assuming that your helper is an adult mentally (which she should be) then;
1)you have cannot have issues with her social life. You are the employer not parent.
2) if the helper proceeds to violate contract terms then fire her which is good for both of you. You should employee someone responsible.
Both employee and employer need to be mature responsible persons.
How many employers of maid would accept the same terms and conditions from thier employers? Come on treat others the way you want and deserve to be treated.

so what you are saying is YOU have a right to dictate who a MAID dates? really? You have a right as to who enters and exists your house. But if people choose to run away they choose to run away just as you have a right to do whatever stupid shit you do. All humans do stupid shit – freedom = the freedom to do stupid shit. Do you fire them if the are pregnant? sure – if they bring someone into the house? DEFINITELY unless you choose to forgive them. But if you think you can tell a maid whether they can date or not – guess what L81 – you are a SLAVER – pure and simple.

The treatment of maids and domestic workers has been the biggest culture shock for me (and most Western foreigners) on coming to Kuwait. I could never wrap my head around how muslims could treat their fellow human beings in this manner.
It also disturbs me how Kuwaitis (or anyone) can be so cruel towards their domestic employees, but then expect these men and women to drive their children to school, pack their lunches, and more-or-less raise them when the parents are away.

Maha, the post (written by a kuwaiti lawyer) is not about how Kuwaitis or Muslims treat domestic workers. that’s called generalization, and an enlightened woman like yourself should know better.

I’m almost positive that the treatment you or a domestic worker get in your country -or what you call your country- is not ideal. What you should wrap your head around is that Kuwaitis and muslims come in diffrents shapes and sizes. and if you don’t like Kuwaitis there is 190 other countries with less of them, and there you’ll live happier.

I have been to the shelters, there is a few hundred, rotating!
I get 30 emails a day, mostly of employees not being treated right. Its a much bigger problem than it appears to be. I am just stating my opinions from what I see.

Yes, you have been to shelters. I have been to shelters as well.

There are 1.3 million Kuwaitis and 1 million maids in Kuwait. Can you honestly say that most Kuwaitis abuse maids? If that was true, there would be hundreds of thousands of maids in these shelters.

Only 2%-3% of maids in Kuwait are abused

This figure is widely used and circulated by embassy officials, human rights activists, labor agencies, ministry officials, police officers, lawyers, and others involved in Kuwait’s domestic work sector.

Most Kuwaitis don’t abuse maids. This is based on scholarly work and research by embassies, NGOs, activists, lawyers and civil society organizations.

Kuwaitis, like all other humans in the world, are humans with a sense of morality. We’re not sadistic psychopaths. Do you think the average Kuwaiti thinks abusing a maid is morally acceptable? Do you honestly believe that the average Kuwaiti condones sexual and physical abuse of maids?

Kuwaitis are humans, not sadistic psychopaths

Are you Blind or something…??? YES THEY DO!!! I am a US Marine and we should never had saved your Kuwait only to see your officials and Police allow the abuse of Domestic workers as You do. EVEN THE POLICE ARE GUILTY AND YOU PEOPLE HAVE NO RIGHT TO WITHHOLD NOBODY’S PASSPORTS BUT YOUR OWN. Shame on you Kuwaitis that act like its not happening

Dear sir/madam

I read all the articles law thank you so much mafam/sir for we to know the rules being a khafamas in kuwait thank you mostly working inside house the employer are not following the rules im one of them 16 hours work no rest only if i eat and drink coffee thats only my sitdown sometimes i cannot drink my coffe well alhamdulillah i really finish my contract im over staying bcoz i am 4 years stay with them no vacation.,,,,for the past two years they not give the plain which should give bcoz i dont go but they not give me,,, second now i want to ask them a release because i want to work outside do i pay release madam/sir for my 4 years service for them,,,

Thank you so much and im waiting for your reply

Correction “A”, firstly i hope your nickname does not stand for what i think it does, secondly 2- 3% are the ones being reported let alone the ones who are treated like wild animals in a kennel and not even allowed to speak to anybody, how will they find refuge??, I have many Kuwaiti brothers who i have known as friends since childhood, been to their homes and no they do not treat their maids ill, but there are also people who i have seen treating them worse than they would treat a dog, how would u feel if i stuffed u in the back of my SUV boot and drive around with my family comfortably, I keep my groceries in the boot not my maid……. respond to that, if u really want to prove a point, make sure you are not only taking yourself into consideration but what u see in daily life and ignore.

Kuwaitis and Muslims don’t abuse their domestic workers. SOME do. as they did to you in others countries you’ve lived. this is generalization. rethink your posts.

there are 190 other countries with less kuwaitis. I’m sure you will live happier with more westerns. maybe they will mistake you for one.

no Mohammed – you are wrong. And you are using a classic tactic … deflecting the argument … instead of saying oh it happens elsewhere focus on the problem here. Its not SOME Kuwaitis, its a LOT of Kuwaitis… its reached epidemic proportions here because it is a cultural problem which if not rooted out, will make Kuwaiti society self destruct, but taking all expats with it.

You are free not to believe me or play the patriot to your land, but if you could go into the shelters at the embassies you would see HUNDREDS of women a month who have gone through some real cruelty at the hand of … some … Kuwaitis. Al Razi hospital used to have a ward where on average every 2 weeks about 12 or more women who had been abused by their employers would be admitted. rape, torture, beatings, burnings … the evidence is against your desperation to make your country seem like a shining beacon to the world

see when I blame it on a culture I do not include those who were raised right, who do not behave like this, who are better people. You have good – GREAT – citizens who fight for whats good and just. But ones that make arguments that the problems are minor? To me – they are useless to their own country.

Instead of saying slavery existed in America should we say – NO – SOME americans had slaves? that does not solve any problems and you sir are repeating an age old technique that does not solve, but hinders.

Become part of the solution or don’t.

Man!! can you argue?
if you are a local then i pray to Allah just a few more like you will change the image of Kuwaitis to expats.
Thanks Allah I have been in touch with very well
raised local. but there are bad apples.

for me equality and tolerance is way to go.

maverick “Thanks Allah I have been in touch with very well raised local”
there are alot of good Kuwaities out there. maybe you’re just surrounded scum.

equality and tolerence = being fair to the country that hosts you

djelibaby i had to reread my comment a couple of times to see how did you assume i pro domestic worker abuse, yes we have a problem and it should be addressed. my comment was to Maha’s prejudice comment about Kuwaitis and Muslims. So don’t vent out on me
Is generalization part of the solution??? if you don’t see that then you should rethink you convictions.
If you see yourself as Mr. Justice as a see myself a patriot of my land, then you should be against a blanket statement about Kuwaitis and Muslims. That’s pure ignorance from Maha, you and all other enlightened humane westerns and westerners wannabees.

Good Mohammad, “Kuwaitis and Muslims don’t abuse their domestic workers. SOME do.” Could you classify the Some please? Ideally could you give a percentage? Last check studies on treatment of maids are NOT allowed only reports come from shelters and embassies. Generalization is based on observation.

Stating what we see is not Western/Arabic but rather what is. ABUSE is commonly seen in Kuwait and Most Kuwaitis are Muslims. You not nave to go to a shelter just go to a mall and try to talk with a maid.

The response to someone stating what is observable is not ignorance.

As a patriot YOU should be championing the causes that give Kuwait a bad image- such as the treatment of maids. Why is the maids not covered by labour law? Why are there no Kuwaiti working as maids if conditions are so good? Why is a sponsorship system still in place? What is being done to address the issues of maids in the country?
Let organizations openly study the treatment of maids so actually numbers can be had.

Again someone is assuming I’m calling for this conversation to be silenced. I know how gratifieing it can be to find someone to throw stones at. But I am NOT saying this does not exist.

“Generalization based on observation” anyone who thinks generalization is acceptable is wrong and simply simple minded. Even if it targeting Kuwait is believe it or not. We are after all human being not any less human that domestic workers.

If you really want to intelligently address a problem, you have to understand it. And blaming a whole population only hurts your cause. That if you had one other than hating everything about this county

Support studies that present actual numbers on the issue. When no hard fact can be found then one can only use what is available.

Again direct us to hard researched evidence.

Not throwing stones but asking for direct data. It is not hate it is pointing out the obvious.

How do you understand a problem when the problem is not being seriously addressed by government, or institutes and specialist organizations are not allowed too? Make whatever available studies public.

There is hard researched evidence and actual numbers on the issue.

Only 2%-3% of maids in Kuwait are abused

This figure is widely used and circulated by embassy officials, human rights activists, labor agencies, ministry officials, police officers, lawyers, and others involved in Kuwait’s domestic work sector.

Most Kuwaitis don’t abuse maids. Abuse is not endemic in Kuwait. This is based on scholarly work and research by embassies, NGos, activists, lawyers and civil society organizations.

We need to legalize and find a way to allow part-time domestic workers. I believe it will solve many of the problems we have, at least most of my problems with domestic workers will be gone.


How do you deal with someone reporting abuse (a family member reporting it), then the helper getting more abuse as they would naturally be to blame, kinda digging them in a hole

Yes it is a very sensitive matter, I am glad to be working with people that have more experience in the matter. Usually, we don’t report abuse while the domestic worker is still at the house, to avoid that situation.

What is the use of bringing up these issues, when nothing gud can be done.

Employer shud pay for the health insurance. I know lot of people where they pay for their health insurance. Most of the school teachers pay the health insurance from their pocket.

I have to give back one month salary back to my employer in a year.

Who cares.just wasted my time typing.

Overall I agree with you. My only comment is that expats workers would need in return to abide by the laws & “social norms” in the country they reside. Need to remember that we live in a culture that does not allow it’s own people to date openly, let alone an foreign expat living in your own house!

I am sorry.. but it is so hypocrite!!! chasing women down the gulf street risking any bystanders in your way is perfectly ok, but not to go on a date like a decent human being is not ok.

I’m sorry but what are talking about?

Human rights is guaranteed and is part of every society and culture. Kuwaiti society is not any different from any other society in this world. When a maid gets abused, Kuwaitis, like all other humans, are bound to react using humane emotions.

Foreign expats do live in their own houses. In case you haven’t noticed, many foreign expats in Kuwait live in their own houses.

Fajer, practice what you preach or else you’re a hypocrite.

I’m pretty sure you don’t do this point at least ” 3) Give them their passports, you cannot legally keep them.”. You know very well you’ll return home to find most of your expensive belongings are gone. No i’m not calling ‘domestic workers’ thieves… I am calling them human beings who left their loved ones to travel across the world to work day and night and make a small amount of money.. and then they find an opportunity of 4000 dinars watch laying around on your night stand.

wow … WOW … are you serious?? you keep a maid’s passport? guess what that’s called – it’s called slavery. A passport belongs to the PERSON it belongs to – and the government of the country he or she is from. you have NO right to hold onto a passport – and in the eyes of the law, in Kuwait and abroad – you are a criminal and a slave keeper. See what I mean? average forward thinking citizen – regular on this blog – slave keeper.


Holding someone’s passport is slavery?! What kind of fucked up logic is that? There is a contract, and the contract requires the employee to stay in the country for a specific period, ranging from one to two years. The employee is not permitted to leave the country without permission. If the employee wants to leave the country they should ask for permission. Therefore, holding the passport does not affect the staff freedom. If anything it is a guarantee that the employee will not run away with the employer’s possession. Which is the sole purpose why passport is being held.

FYI, holding passport is done by employers of domestic workers, employers in the private sector, and I know for a fact that citizens of other countries and in their home countries have to hand their passports to their employers.

Please don’t talk bullshit. OK?

@3azeez – I cannot believe this! are you serious? what you are doing is AGAINST THE LAW. rEAD IT OUT LOUD TO YOURSELF. YOU ARE A CRIMINAL. THe passport is not YOURS – it does NOT belong to you! THe passport belongs to the individual, and the the individuals government NOT YOU!

what part of this dont you understand really!? will someone talk to this guy?

And if you have taken someones passport, then YOU are the one who has stolen before anyone else has had a chance. Dude you are a sick human being – one of THOSE arabs that everyone talks about.

man no WONDER ppl talk shit about Kuwait. because ppl like you exist.

There is no need to get all emotional and hysterical.

You talk as if MOST Kuwaitis are abusing maids. In reality, only 1% of Kuwaitis are abusing maids.

The vast majority of Kuwaitis don’t abuse maids. That’s an indisputable fact that even you can’t refute.

Only 2%-3% of maids in Kuwait are abused

This figure is widely used and circulated by embassy officials, human rights activists, labor agencies, ministry officials, police officers, lawyers, and others involved in Kuwait’s domestic work sector.

I hope more is done to protect migrant rights in Kuwait. But making broad generalizations won’t fix the problem.

Perhaps ALOT of Kuwaitis abuse maids, but when it comes down to it, only 1% of Kuwaitis are abusing maids.

There are 1.3 million Kuwaitis.

You can’t make broad generalizations about 1.3 million people, just because some maids are abused, doesn’t mean MOST maids are abused.

@ a …Its not just about 2-3% maids getting abused(by the way those figures are given by middleeast institute who are bound to be in favour of Kuwait)

The issue is about the Law not giving them basic rights. Like only 8 hours work, Minimum K.D 120 per month, Atleast 1-2 days off per week. This shows that the Law is Hypocrisy because it says Maids are subhuman and don’t deserve these rights….This is done just to give Kuwaitis get Cheap labour and Immune to Prosecution on crimes/abuse against Maids. Such a Cheapish/Racist mentality !!

Now coming to the figures of number of maids abused its different based on which source you refer to. Human rights International report 5-7% of Maids are abused. Even if you go by the lower estimate of 2% you gave …Since there are 6,00,000 maids in Kuwait 2% makes up 12000 maids abused annually. The Data and proof shows that its even much more…Daily 70 maids run away from the Kuwaiti houses to Embassy shelters…that makes it up to 25000 maids abused every year.

Imagine if 25000 Kuwaitis are abused every Year , would the Kuwaitis keep quiet and act as if everything is normal and its just a small problem ???

Seriously Wake up dude and fear Allah …Acknowledge there is a serious problem in the Law regarding maids. Otherwise Allah may reverse the tables and put the Kuwaitis in similar situation in future if this abuse continues. Remember 1990 ?

Wow only one kuwaiti how dare most of kuwaiti are doing slavery they even not give the passport and let the maid work for 17-18 hours a day and no even day off maids are not robot anyway. Kuwaiti employer also are harassing maids they beat, iron them and treat them to kill heartless people if employer are good and give freedom to their employees no reason that the employee will run or do things bad.

3azeez, I don’t know how old you are or if you have a family. But I want to point out to you that you are more likely to see someone in your own family steal that money if you left it around rather than the maid – if you treated her with respect and as part of your family. I have NEVER heard of this happening with expats families neither back in my own home country. Its a rare case and these can be tracked back with just a copy of their passports. So lets stop being stupid – get the right people into your house, treat them right and you’ll see the result.

Remember you yourself would be tempted to steal from your employer only if he/she treated you like s&&t.

@James, the only one being stupid is you really.

You are building your response on assumptions which is rather silly and superficial. It shows lack of logic and depth in thinking.

No if I leave money no one of my family members is going to steal it. I don’t know how you assumed that a family member is more likely to steal it?! I guess it tells a lot about the kind of environment you were brought up in?!

The fact (if that was actually a fact) that you have never personally heard of a theft taking place does not mean it did not happen. Personally I have never witnessed earthquakes, typhoons, child births… but just like with thefts, I’ve read about them in news papers… so what do you think? should we dismiss them or believe in them?!

Man you’re confusing me!

In any case… my argument which you failed to understand is… you have a stranger living with you in your house, someone from a different country and you barely know… unless you’re a complete idiot, there is no way in hell I’m going to believe that you are going to put 100 percent trust in them.

Please don’t make me explain what is trust and how it happens. And please don’t make me give examples of what people can do to protect themselves if there is no trust and how people will loosen their guards and become trusting. You can google that.

I know it is something very difficult for you, James, to understand because you come from a different culture probably. Here in Kuwait since people were living in mud houses had maids. We have bonds that form with our domestic workers that you will never understand because you’re probably viewing it as how your own people enslaved Africans and how they treated them.

On a personal level, we have four maids in our house (a cook, a baby sitter, and two cleaning staff) plus one driver. They’ve been with us for many years and we do trust them. I don’t keep my 4,000 dinar watch on the night stand because I do believe they’re human beings and human beings sometimes can do reckless things. That does not contradict with trust IMO. I simply open the drawer and put the watch there along with my wallet. I trust that she will not go through my stuff… yes I know she knows I keep my wallet and watch there, but I also trust her that she peaked there probably out of curiosity once upon a time!

As for the passport… They keep their passports along with my mother passport, my father passport, my sister passport and my brother passport… same shelve, same place… what is wrong with that? Is it slavery to treat them as part of the family and protect their document the way we protect our own documents?

If you are talking about rare cases then why are you generalizing your rare cases on Kuwaitis as well?!

Dear Fajer,

Thanks for your response. Glad to hear about your bold move. Indeed you are one of the new generation with different view of life. I wish you all the best of luck with whatever you do.

Clearly my point of view is based on what we were brought up doing… what our fathers and grandfathers did. They had their reasons for doing it I’m sure. Things eventually change.

In any case, it is nice to be all western like and talk about freedoms from western point of view (like holding a passport is considered slavery, says the people who enslaved others just for the colors of their skins until recently), but in any case, we will change to fit in eventually 🙂

I have a shop with goods much more worth then the 4000 kd watch, i have employee who i trust , they are from the same country from where your maid is , maybe same situation that your maid is , i have no cameras or anything but still they have their passports with them and there is not theft.
why can one trust employees in his shop and cannot trust maids in his house ????????????????

this is not the problem of trust but menatlity

” 7) Give them reasonable pay. 50KD a month is not reasonable, just cause its reasonable in India (where they might be from) it is not reasonable here. They work and live here.”

Who the fuck pay their maids 50 dinars?! Today the rates are going for 120 dinars and the least is 110 dinar.

Ethiopians can get paid 70KD but others get paid less…. some dont get paid at all. others have their ‘residency fees’ subtracted from their monthly salary … there are hundreds of ways to cheat a poor person. Lots of clever ppl here have figured it out


To my knowledge the minimum wage is 65 dinars. Anything below that is illegal.

So is prostitution.
So is producing alcohol.
So is theft.
So is rape.
So is murder.
So is growing and selling weed.
So is smuggling drugs.
So is making and selling porn.

There are lots of bad illegal things that lots of people across the globe have figured out and are doing.

I feel sorry to the poor that happened to be victims of the above.

If you take them out with you (to the mall/grocery store/park) please let them wear their own clothes and not that disgusting uniform, or even worse that digusting 1 KD cotton pajama kaftan looking thing.

It is called a uniform. I don’t see why you’d say a uniform is disgusting?! Why do you look down to people who wear uniforms? There is no shame in wearing a uniform.

Domestic workers who take care of children happen to wear uniforms too. I see no harm in them wearing their uniform if they’re on duty while at the mall. I rather find it inappropriate to them and to their employers if they dress casually.. but yeah it may vary from one family to another. I can’t imagine seeing a filipina in a jeans with her hair loose walking around with a family where the father is wearing traditional Kuwaiti dress (including ghitra) and mother wearing what they usually wear.

Kuwaitis are rather hilarious… they talk about humanity and they want to be humane,, but they just don’t know how to do it… being humane is not saying “lets give them their passports” or stating the obvious “don’t pay them 50 dinars” which is voiding the contract since below the legal salary… being humane is far much more than that but we have long way ahead of us to get back on track if this is how we think being humane is.

im sorry – im literally shocked at your ignorance. You are right in that being humane is FAR more than that – but if you are not giving a person their passports – fuck the rest. you are a bad person. end of story

As a Private Sector White Collared Employee, I get to see my passport only when I travel out of Kuwait as it is in the custody of the company.

No passport No Salary.

What do you have to say to that !?

name your company on here – and they can be taken to court!!! these places can be fought against and if you want to i suggest you send an email to fajer!

I am shocked at your ignorance. I mean god forbid the filipino nanny has her hair down and is comfortable wearing jeans while she’s running after your kids who are probably misbehaving because lets face it, this is Kuwait.

Making a maid wear a uniform is obviously a status thing for many Kuwaitis. I have seen despicable mistreatment of people in this country. And by even remotely defending any aspects of it, you are contributing to the problem.

Yes, this is Kuwait. Problem?

What exactly is wrong with a maid wearing a uniform? Maids in every country in the world wear uniform. This has nothing to do with status symbol, it’s about cleanliness and professionalism.

Many Filipino nannies in Kuwait wear jeans. It’s a common sight in Kuwait.

Your argument is pointless and it just seems like you’re trying to find any excuse to hate on Kuwait.

At least in the USA when there are abuses it is acknowledged, exposed and dealt with. There are competent systems to deal with abuse, not like Kuwait where its limited.

In Kuwait and other GCC countries abuse is NOT fully acknowledge, exposed or addressed by governement expect when face with issues by international governments.

Even investigating the issue is not allowed. Could you imagine a similar study being carried out in Kuwait. NO. It is not allowed. Human Rights Watch and others have tried. Stop trying to deflect the issue. One university I approached would not even touch the topic and mentioned several others would not either. There are almost the same number of maids in the USA as Kuwait (read the article carefully espeically numbers)

Abuse is international – Yes, how its dealt with differentiate the humane and inhumane.

Baloney. US companies own sweatshops around the world and some use child labor. This has been known for decades and has never, as you say, been dealt with.

WRONG. WRONG. Read carefully.
Firstly companies operate differently from persons. The interactions are different though legally, recently the differences are reduced. As a share holder I own parts of companies but that does not mean I know (or control) what exactly is going on in them.

Secondly the sweat shop issues are addressed when found out. Verite, ILO, and others (do a Google search) have made public these issues and contractors lose their contracts. Name and shame is the game.

Direct control as a maid in your house is different from an international company control.

Well said MC…Kuwait and GCC nations are hypocritic by calling themselves Islamic or Muslim nation. They should change the name to Hypocrite unless they change this slave based laws.
imagine what the Prophet SAWS will feel when he knows that people amongst his Ummah treat others with so much abuse and racism. Its like going back to the days of Jahiliyah before Islam came.

I agree, Fajer, you should fire your maids, and not let them work, and we should force girls to do their part of cleaning and cooking and not using slaves for their own satisfactory.

Don’t you agree Fajer? 🙂

I just realize, I’ll make my wife never have a maid, and she’ll do all the work, that way i won’t be hypocrite.

neonark, why do you want to make your wife your maid? Why don’t you do the work with her and help out too? That is fair. Or just treat your hired help fairly? That way everyone wins

none of your business, overall you simply overstepping your boundary, how I choose to live my life is none of your concern, nor I require to justify my life choice.

I decided not to have SLAVES, that’s exactly how I intent it to be, maybe if the post never used that word, I wouldn’t of thought of it that way.

you endorse slavery!

as your name suits you…you are a jerk.
you simply are a denier that a lot of abuse happens on maids in Kuwait. Wake up to the reality or you will be in a pathetic State like you were in 1990 when your country was invaded and you were sleeping without knowing till the next day what took you by surprise.

It is sad that all Kuwaiti households depend on maids to clean, wash clothes, cook…etc. Why do we need them on a DAILY BASIS? Are we that lazy to do basic house chores? or do we see these tasks as downgrading?

Fajr, thank you for being an enlightened human being. The current setup displaces the domestic worker outside the sphere of law and as a result their humanity and agency and right to life are displaced and they are objects. Until they are legally protected, by force of law, all migrant workers will remain slaves.. because that is what this really is: slavery. And slavery is ‘anti-islamic’ so there’s a lot of hypocrisy here. Thank you again. The power of speaking up is a force and will change perception and maybe, even, actions.

Well said Eman. We are accountable to Allah for all our acts especially when it comes to rights of Humans beings…This is were Allah will not forgive the accused until the victim forgives him.


I think..Im.
Falling in law with you,
No I am in Law with you.
I Law you.

Seriously though, Kudos.
Good to know there are still people like you around.


What is sad is that children see how their parents act and think this is the way to treat other human beings. These same Kuwaitis probably already forgot how the Iraqis treated them before the US liberated them.

Yes, some Kuwaitis are ignorant and some are jerks. But let’s not generalize and I have no idea how the invasion is relevant to this discussion.

You are stupid and I don’t know where you’re from. See, stupidty has nothing to do with nationality, race nor gender.


My utmost respect to you for bringing this issue out. I think it’s well know in Kuwait that maids are mistreated. This issue needed to be raised and it’s great that there is a way to report abuse anonymously now! Keep up the amazing work.

Mr. fajer

Good article. I have a suggestion why dont you write something on the condition of govt. hospitals in kuwait and the way they treat expats esp maternity hospitals. I have recently been a victim of one of such hospital and really feel the need for change.

In conclustion, there are many levels to this issue. It begins in a woman’s country, with dodgy recruitment agencies to sometimes dodgy recruitment agencies in Kuwait, and further, sometimes involves human trafficking. Many years ago I set off on a journey to investigate the levels of this issue, which led to women’s shelters in sub-continent countries, where I experienced first-hand where their journey can begin and what a woman sacrifices to bravely leave their village to come to an unknown culture, that is frightening and sometimes dangerous, just because they want to earn money for their families struggling back home. Sometimes people here fail to understand that when you lift one woman out of poverty it causes a ripple effect throughout a family and further throughout a village. As I travelled throughout the villages to lecture on the legal systems of GCC countries and what they face coming to work in the Gulf, I felt so privileged to meet these women who were so interested in what I had to say as they greeted me with leis of flowers they had picked from the village gardens. At the time Kuwaiti women did not have voting rights, but these women did in their country, so to me they seemed more privileged then their ‘madams’, although they struggled to put one meal on the table for their families daily. I remember visiting a woman’s shelter where eight women who worked as maids in Kuwait had the unfortunate experience of being brutalized during their employment duration, but what I will never forget was these kind parents who travelled to meet me because their only daughter had been kidnapped by human traffickers. As I held their hands, as they wept, they wanted to know if she was in Kuwait, of course, I wouldn’t know that, but the pain that they endured was heartbreaking. After spending time in the hospitals in Kuwait where some of these women find themselves when they decide to jump out of the windows to escape employment nightmares, I decided to speak on behalf of these women directly to the Kuwait Parliament. Not sure if I could do this today with the extreme xenophobia that Kuwaitis feel about expats, but on that day, these women’s voices were heard in the Kuwait Parliament as I met a MP to discuss protective legislation for domestic workers. They were gracious to me and we agreed on my levels, but to this day proper legislation still does not exist in Kuwait. Quite frankly, it is not always the Kuwaiti employer it is many nationalities who abuse their domestic helper, because the ‘system’ allows them to get away with this type of abuse and further there are many wonderful Kuwaiti employers. Foreign embassies are not meant to be safe havens, they are supposed to generate business for their countries and some of these embassies are over-burdened with assisting their nationals in crisis, and having to house them, because they do not have protective legislation in Kuwait, only in their embassy. It is the responsibility of all governments to implement legislation not only to protect its residents, but to safe guard their reputations abroad.

I don’t live on the blog I have a life so if your comment gets held in moderation please be patient. I tend not to want to deal with the blog on my weekends.

If you stop copying and pasting your exact comments over and over I would approve them but if you’re going to reply to everyone with the exact same comment you’re gonna be marked as spam and your comments will be sent to the trash.

well maybe you don’t live on the blog but I’m sure you live off it. so be professional and courteous when answering people. your iffy atitude won’t get you more visits

Highlighting an issue that is already known is a first step, doing something tangible about it is another thing entirely.

Ms. Fajer,

Nice to see a Kuwaiti national raising this issue.

I wonder what do the Parliament Members think about this issue?

Do such things get discussed in Kuwaiti Diwaniyas?

Yhr. Am also a victim And reali appreciate ur effort wish we can chart more cos there is more to discuss

I am also a victim i regreted every mint that am here imarging ur sponsor is traveling and lock up in d house u work for 20hours yet know appreciation u sleep by 2am still complaning why u ar sleeping dis is not fair enough they treat maids like a prisonal i wil be so gland if govt of kuwait can pls do something and have been reading some massages who mention maids collect 90 to 150 it a pure lie maids collect 70kd .

The only solution to this, is that the govt or the agent should arrange accommodation outside the sponsor house you come in the morning and live at agreed time anyway i can not start explaining just pls and do something if u ar in d position to do .thanks

Im kinda disgusted by this comment section, people can argue all day on the internet.

now to throw in my penny in to the well and its not heads or tails

I agree with the law they put down but also find something in this comment section to be off a bit..

my parents have always treated my ex nanny and my childs nanny as teenagers in the house. and not strict arabian style teenager locked in her room until she is wedd Lol normal western teenagers who talk on the phone for hours , slack off if they are tired and even bicker over little things.

as for dating i must say we got lucky but i cant say the same for most . my ex nanny was married with kids and my childs nanny is like a 10 year old that says EWW marriage and men seriously lol she doesnt even want to marry xD.

but i have been to houses where my culture shock happens , nannys rarely speak to the employers in chitchat. they are treated like silent slaves.

than there are some houses that use the firm but friendly approch where they actully treat thier nannys like humans but also are firm to make sure they dont slack off.

now everyone in the comment section has been arguing about them dating, my sister let her nanny date , she hooked up with a lot of men and had 1-2 over in the house but not in the bedroom ofc. some nannys i heard some were caught with the driver and some had puppy love.

now employers i must say dont be harsh on them , dont force them to fast in ramadan cause alot of them arent even muslim, they can have thier own religion and if your trying to save thier souls dont force it, speak with them. if you dont like the nannys personality or maybe you just have gut feeling she might be a bad person ( i mean come on comment section not every nanny is a saint not ever kuwaiti is a demon) fire her and cancel the contract. harsh but why live with someone that you feel uneasy with, same to nannys they shouldnt be forced to live with someone they dont like.

ill end this note with sorry for the long essay. i just dont understand why people are arguing over something so simple. employers shouldnt keep nannys they cant trust and nannys should never stay in a home that forces them or abuses them.

Am a maid here my only problem is the issue of our passport being taking from us and we are not allow to go out no free day. It’s not correct. Each day I cry

@Arrah….since you seem to be educated and able to read and write, you can find another job.Get Help from your friends who work outside the domestic sector for finding jobs.
I think in new labor law, you can transfer your residence from Visa 20 to Visa 18. Don’t stay in this shit Slave job especially in a Kuwaiti house who doesnt treat you well.

For me i really wanted to…coz the way they treated us is like we are to down.but its not easy also to transfer visa 20 to visa 18…theres a rules needed.just like my situition still 8months here…but tranfering visa must be 1year or more is there an other way?

I am also interested to know the stages we can take to transfers the visa 20 to visa 18.coz here were I work my madam is really doing descriminationn.she dose not want us to pass through the pal low when visitors are around and so on.I will really like to change my visa

It really amazed me how some people can be so cruel. I’m a domestic worker here in Kuwait, no single day off, no good condition, even if you are sick, you have to work, no salary increase. 70kwd for this tedious job is not reasonable. They must design a law that will protect us. Some people don’t understand contract law, they treat you anyhow they like,they don’t have single respect for you. We are appealing to the government to come to our aid.

@Bethy….You are able to read and write, you can find another job.Get Help from your friends who work outside the domestic sector for finding jobs.
I think in new labor law, you can transfer your residence from Visa 20 to Visa 18, just confirm the labour law. Don’t stay in this shit Slave job especially in a Kuwaiti house who doesnt treat you well.
It may take you some time to find a job, but the hard work is worth it….its your future and your freedom from Slavery !! message us back if you need more advice or guidance.

I’m sorry for my late reply. Thanks so much Stanley I’m trying my best to get out of this mess. I have to raise the money my sponsor use to hired me. It left with few months I will be done.

Am solange i want to travel to kuwait in other to work as a maid so i can help my family back home so after reading all this am discurage what do u advise me to do because i need t.his job

Plz any body to help me my name is Amina i came to kuwait may7 i i need yr help to go back to my country amform Nigeria we work for 24/7 no right am sick there can not buy me a durg plz how can u help back to my country plz need u to help me am not work again i came hear for salon i dnt my agent sale me for house maid plz help me i dnt wat to die in this country plz help me god will help U

Hi.. I am a domestic helper.
I feel pity for that person who think that the housemaid will steal his money if he leave it on the tablE.
FYI sir we have all the proofs that we dont have any criminal records from our country..
Just because we came from a poor family and country and we decided to come here and work as a housemaid
Doesnt mean that we r unreliable.
Sorry to say this but i hope you can bring all your money to hell when you die.!

The problem here is mostly employers dont follow the agreement between them and the workers as what written on the contract. They just signed without reading and understanding.

Hi I am working here in Kuwait as all around house aid, before I came I knew wast to teach their kids English and math but unfortunity when I arrived I work all around with lots of employers the parent and brothers of my Madame, I work from 5:30 am til 11:00 pm. My salary monthly delayed. Worst is they are not my employer on papers

The employer that I signed in the contract was Kuwaiti but when I’m arrived here I am totally shocked because they are Egyptians. I am tortured mentally and emotionally here sometimes my Madame hurt me physically. What would I do to go home? I think this not legal as well that my employer is different in the papers and in person.

I did not report this to the embassy because I am scared, some of the Filipina maids here in Kuwait told me may be my employer will maltrated me if I will report this. They treat me animalistic here, let me felt ashamed to the public, food is limited and 3-5 hours a day sleep only.

Dear Sir,
I want know visa no 20 they can work in out site the home or if they can not work out site.
Question is why,if I want to remove from site but according to which law , Because my company want know under which law or section. Please advise me

Thanks so much Faber
I am from Cameroon and I work here as a maid,all what you mentioned above all are true n real
I studied law right up to the Mater level
I wish laws are passed to protect us
Truely the working conditions are so unbearable

Iam so happy today to find out that their people out there who are fighting for the rights of housemaids… Iam from Malawi (Africa) i living and working in salmiya as amaid… I work 20 hours a day from 7:30 to 3 am evrtyday, no off day, I sleep on the floor and was given only 1 small blanket, my salary is 70 kd,I use my fon secretly coz they don’t allow me to.. Most days o sleep on empty stomach… Please continue fighting for us we need our freedom.. Am being treated as an animal.

I am an expat with my wife and 5 months daughter. we had a domestic helper/nanny for 6 months, with full rights, salary, rest day, phone and access to the net. one day she came and said that her mom passed away and she has to go back just for 10 days and will be back. once the 10 days passed, I went to the airport and waited but she never came back; then she sent a message to my wife saying that she is sorry and she will not come back. So, the story was all fabricated. now the problem is me and my wife we both work from 9am to 6pm and we need to have a replacement. What I heard from the manpower agency, is that a non-kuwaiti has the right to have ONLY one DH, and I cannot cancel the gone DH visa before 6 months. so I am really in deep trouble, what can i do?

My sister is working in kuwait as house help she is been maltreated and beaten by the man and his wife she run to their agent office but they did not help her, they took her ducuments and passport from her ,, she said they took her to an unknown house where she eats only kuboos,, she sent me the mans contact because she said she heard the woman telling the husband they should take her fone from her and since i have not heard of her but i have the employers contact number ,, i hope she will be seen if the man is been called ,,, please i need help

Hi good eve I’m thankful that i find your websites I’m a DH here in Kuwait finished contract last may 1 2017 and my employer dont want me to send me home he tell me that he cant release me until i didint give him a another DH to replaced me what can I do even the law of right for a DH they not follow i don’t have day off even the 8 hours rest emotional abuse and they threaten me to go in jail for tree years because he’s duather use my telephone to contact her BF and they blame me in that case so my baba tell me i can go in jail for 3 years more and another problem my madam tel she lose her bangle gold and they blame me all of mistake of he’s family they slamp me but I swear to God in the head of my mother i don’t take her gold and i stay and Finnish my contract and I want to go home in my country but they not allow me what can I do? Could you help me pls advise I’m 1st timer her and Finnish contract I’m scard and afraid what can I do help me pls


Hi again hope you can help us..its really tiring to work 18 to 19 hours a day without day off.though it is clearly written in our employers seems to be neglecting our basic right.a right to have enough time of rest..

hello good day! i’m a first timer here in kuwait as a domestic helper. and a direct hire. i arrived here in kuwait last nov.2 , i want to ask if when after 1month of working here and i can’t handle things what they want me to do, can my employer could send me back home to my hometown?

Hello sir /ma’am I will be almost 4 years to my employer here in Kuwait ,and I’m planning to find new job and they are still have rights to asked money for Release ?i still need to pay or my new employer for release?

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