Kuwait has cleared 34 destitute Malawian women who were unknowingly trafficked there months ago.
The women escaped from their respective workplaces because they were subjected to inhumane treatment such as working over 14 hours, being locked indoors and staying hungry among others.
The clearance comes barely a month after reports that their repatriation was put on hold because their employers obtained a court injunction since they believed the women had breached the contract.
They claimed that the agents who connected them to the employers are legal (in Kuwait) and that the girls owed them money which was used for all their logistics and that they had not fully repaid.
Acting spokesperson for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, John Kabaghe, confirmed this development, saying out of the 34 women, 19 girls have already been repatriated to Malawi.
“As of 12th August 2016, a total of 19 Malawian ladies had arrived from Kuwait. The remaining 15 have also been cleared by the Kuwait government, and transport arrangements are being made for them to be repatriated back home,” he said.
Kabaghe disclosed that government is in the process of trying to come up with a lasting solution to this problem and consultations are underway among stakeholders within Malawi and abroad, including Kuwait itself.
Reacting to this development, CHRR Executive Director, Timothy Mtambo, said government should have considered having other strategies to stop such things from happening again.
“The government has done a commendable job as it is the mandate of every government to protect and take care of its citizens. But the government should consider putting in tough measures so that we don’t have such incidents ever again,” Mtambo said.
A series of human trafficking of women to Kuwait came into the lime light in recent times after our sister paper, Malawi News of April 22, 2016 uncovered a big syndicate which appears to involve civil servants and other influential people including law enforcing agents.
Surprisingly, even though the agents, public officers and other involved have been exposed and evidence being brought forward, no one is answering charges of human trafficking despite having the laws in place.
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