Kuwait tops charts for complaints by Indian expats

Oman comes a close fourth in reported grievances from overseas workers

Gulf countries rank poorly for Indian welfare; Malaysia is noted as the most amenable.
Gulf countries rank poorly for Indian welfare; Malaysia is noted as the most amenable.

The highest number of complaints by Indian expatriate workers are registered in the Gulf region, with Kuwait topping the list and Oman taking the fourth spot, according to India’s overseas minister.

The ministry’s statistics show that the total number of complaints filed by Indian workers have come down in many countries in the last three years following the signing of labour agreements and MoUs between India and various countries in the region, but that significant grievances remain.

Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, said that Indian expatriates in Malaysia have filed the least number of complaints regarding exploitation, ill-treatment or non-payment of salaries.

"There does not appear to be a continuous rise in the number of cases of exploitation or harassment of Indian workers,” said Ravi in a statement.

However, P M Jabir, welfare secretary of the Indian Social Club, told Muscat Daily that the figure for Oman could be larger: “These figures represent the cases reported to the authorities, but many go unreported as the workers concede to employers' demands fearing lengthy paperwork and loss of jobs.”

Jabir added that he receives many complaints from groups dealing with non-payment of wages, delayed annual leave and breach of contract, and ‘many also complain of physical harassment.’

Ravi told the Indian parliament that India had signed labour agreements with Jordan and Qatar, and memorandum of understanding (MoUs) with UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Malaysia and Bahrain.

“These MOUs enhance bilateral co-operation in the management of migration and protection of labour welfare, and joint working groups have been constituted that meet regularly in order to resolve bilateral labour issues.”

The ministry has also set up an Indian Community Welfare Fund at all the Indian missions to provide on-site support and financial assistance to Indian workers in distress.


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