Manama: Kuwait has reportedly imposed a ban on recruiting Bangladeshis to work in the northern Arabian Gulf state.
Interior Minister Shaikh Khalid Al Jarrah has ordered the ban and asked the interior ministry to apply it, Kuwaiti daily Al Jareeda reported on Monday, citing a security source.
The source attributed the decision to irregularities and abuses by traffickers in work and residency permits for Bangladeshis whose numbers have increased remarkably following the recent lifting of a ban on their recruitment.
The abuses were mainly related to the employment of domestic helpers despite the existence of strict regulations, security agencies said in the reports that triggered the ban.
Some Bangladeshis are recruited to work in the Arabian Gulf countries through a complex process that involves private agents and brokers and results at times in recruitment malpractices and deceptions.
Bangladeshi reports said that Kuwait started hiring Bangladeshi workers in 1976 and that until 2007, around 480,000 workers were recruited.
The figures were provided by the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training in Bangladesh.
However, Kuwait stopped recruiting Bangladeshi workers in 2007 after detecting irregularities in their recruitment and their involvement in illegal activities, the reports said.
In 2014, Kuwait decided to lift the ban and allow Bangladeshis to work in the Gulf country.
But in May 2016, Kuwait imposed a ban on male domestic helpers following security reports that there were irregularities.
Conditions put forth by the Kuwaiti government included that “each Kuwaiti citizen can bring only one male helper and must not already have one from the same nationality.”
The employer must also own a house in Kuwait.
The number of Bangladeshis in Kuwait in 2016 was 200,000.
Foreigners make up two thirds of Kuwait’s total population of 4.5 million. Indians make up the largest expatriate community in the country whereas Egyptians top the list of Arab communities.