28 Indians Died in Kuwait in Nov-Dec 2017
Migrant workers constitute two-thirds of Kuwait’s population.
A total of 28 Indians died in Kuwait between November and December 2017, with 20 deaths occurring in December alone, the Indian Embassy said on Jan. 4. While some of these workers died due to health issues, others died due to accidents, and other causes.
While bodies of 20 persons were transported to India, the transportation of one is awaited, the statement said. Seven bodies were buried locally. In October 2017, 46 Indians died in Kuwait due to various reasons.
In the same period in 2016 — between November and December — the number of deaths of Indians was recorded as 58. The cause of death ranged from fire accident and heart attacks to fall from height and sickness.
As many as 31,318 Indians have lost their lives abroad since 2014, a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) revealed on Dec. 20, 2017. The number of Indians who died in Kuwait since 2014 is 2,310, the data showed. A significant number of these deaths of Indians was reported in Bahrain, Canada, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar and the United States.
Two-thirds of Kuwait’s population is comprised of migrant workers while migrant household workers constitute nearly a third of its workforce, according to the 2017 Human Rights Watch report. Migrant workers in the country are vulnerable to abuse, forced labor, and deportation for minor violations, including traffic violations and “absconding” from an employer. The mobility of the migrant domestic workers is extremely restricted, the report added. In many cases, their passports are taken away by their employer, adding to their misery.
In some cases, migrant workers are not paid for months, while their passports are kept by the employers, leaving them with no choice but to work in deplorable conditions. About 2,000 Indian workers are currently stranded in Kuwait as they have not received wages from the construction company, Kharafi National, where they have been working for over a year.
In July 2016, Interior Ministry of Kuwait issued a ruling that kept the minimum monthly wage for migrant domestic workers at 60 Kuwait dinars (approximately $200. It also asserted that employers must pay overtime compensation.
The country “continues to reform aspects of the kafala or sponsorship system, which ties a migrant worker’s legal residence and valid immigration status to an employer,” the HRW report said.