In a statement released late Monday, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait said several clauses relating to the protection of Filipino domestic workers were discussed at the joint meeting of the committee, which both sides want to institutionalize through a standard employment contract. The agreement signed Friday did not contain the cancellation of Duterte`s order, but Cayetano said it was in discussion. About 260,000 Filipino citizens live and work in Kuwait, most as domestic servants. In mid-January, the Philippines again imposed a work ban on its citizens in Kuwait after a Filipino maid was reportedly killed by their employer, indicating a dispute between the two countries in 2018. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte approved the ban, with his government accusing the emirate of concealing the atrocious murder of a maid, one of some 240,000 Filipinos working in the Gulf state. Millions of Filipino citizens go abroad to work in search of wages they cannot get at home. The money they return represents about 10% of the Philippine economy. Kuwait is not the only Gulf state to be accused of routine sexual abuse of domestic workers. In November, Bangladesh hired more than 150 recruitment agencies that hire people to work in Saudi Arabia, after a number of returnees reportedly faced sexual abuse, torture and even sexual slavery in the kingdom.
Similar abuses have also been reported in the United Arab Emirates, which Human Rights Watch randomly took in 2014 because of widespread abuse of domestic workers. The United Arab Emirates has about 750,000 domestic workers who, according to official statistics, account for nearly 20% of the foreign workforce. After the signing of the new agreement on Friday, Philippine officials said a new ambassador would be appointed to Kuwait and that President Duterte would advise lifting his entry ban. A copy of the agreement, which is available to AFP, states that workers have the right to keep their passports and mobile phones, which are regularly seized by employers in Kuwait and other Gulf countries. A bitter dispute between Kuwait and the Philippines over the treatment of domestic workers will end with the signing of a new agreement. The agreement was signed in Kuwait by Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al Khalid Al Sabah and Philippine Foreign Minister Alan Peter Cayetano. KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait and the Philippines on Friday adopted measures to regulate the employment of domestic workers in the Southeast Asian country, following a diplomatic dispute amid reports of abuses.