In January the Philippines stopped sending workers to Kuwait following reports of abuse by employers. Image Credit: Supplied

Cairo: Kuwait and Ethiopia are in talks to work out an agreement on sending domestic helpers to the Gulf country amid an ongoing crisis with the Philippines over the recent murder of a Filipina, media reported Wednesday.

Kuwaiti and Ethiopian officials discussed on Tuesday in Kuwait City a draft memorandum of understanding on recruiting skilled Ethiopian domestic workers. A Kuwait committee led by the Foreign Ministry is expected to travel to Addis Ababa next week to learn first-hand about labour mechanisms in the African country.

Kuwait has set conditions for hiring Ethiopian domestic workers from Ethiopia including efficiency, previous training and proficiency in speaking the English language, according to media reports.

There are already nearly 18,000 Ethiopians, mainly women, working as domestic helpers in Kuwait, according to official figures.

Kuwait has recently embarked on opening up new labour markets after the Philippines banned the dispatch of workers to the country.

Last month, a Philippine domestic helper died in Kuwait amid suspicions that her employers were behind her demise.

An official Philippine autopsy found that the house maid had been sexually abused before she was murdered. Her Kuwaiti employer and his wife were arrested after the worker’s death.

Last week, the Philippine authorities imposed a ban on the deployment of newly hired workers to Kuwait in reaction to the murder.

In 2018, ties between Kuwait and the Philippines soured after the body of a Philippine housemaid was found inside her employers’ freezer. The row was shortly resolved after the two countries reached an agreement regulating employment of domestic workers.