Kuwait City
File photo: An aerial view Kuwait City. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Kuwaiti authorities have initiated an online service for transferring sponsorship of domestic workers as part of the country's digital transformation.

The Interior Ministry has introduced a new service within the government app Sahel. In an effort to streamline processes for citizens, the ministry announced the launch of a service enabling the transfer of domestic workers' residency permits (iqama) from one sponsor to another through the Sahel app for unified government services.

Despite a ban on new labour from the Philippines amid a row, the number of domestic workers in Kuwait reached 811,000 last October, up from 583,000 in late 2021.

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The number of household laborers from India increased by approximately 30% in 2023 compared to the previous year, reaching 361,000. Female Indian domestic workers accounted for 28.7% of this figure.

In contrast, the figures showed a drop in the number of house workers from Sri Lanka from 79,000 in 2022 to 48,200 last year, with female labour making up more than 90 per cent of their total.

Despite the ban on new recruitments, domestic workers from the Philippines in Kuwait came second in terms of numbers, reaching 201,000. Moreover, Filipinas still top the overall number of foreign female house labourers in Kuwait, accounting for 99.4 per cent of the total Philippine house workers in the country.

In May, Kuwait announced suspending the issuance of all visas for Filipino workers in reaction to what it said was Philippine authorities’ failure to comply with a labour agreement previously reached between the two countries.

However, Kuwait said it continues renewal for Filipinos holding valid residency permits, who want to keep working in the country. Recent talks between the two countries to resolve the row have not yielded positive results, according to media reports.