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Maids ‘ads’ on the rise ahead of Ramadan

KUWAIT: Local papers and the Internet are currently full of ads offering services of housemaids for ‘sale’ or transfer as Ramadan is approaching. Informed sources said that there is a growing demand for housemaids as Ramadan is close, and their hiring costs are accordingly increasing, especially with a shortage of housemaids in the local market.

The sources added that due to the short period remaining before Ramadan begins, specialized housemaid offices might not be able to procure a new maid quickly, as it usually takes two months to do so. “This made the cost of transferring a housemaid from one employer to another go up to KD 1,400 regardless if the maid’s experience,” said the sources, noting that any housemaid ad published in the papers or online immediately attracts a customer regardless of the price. Sometimes the maids are ‘auctioned’ and given away to the highest bidders, the source said.

Touring a Hawally center where many labor offices are located, the offices were almost empty, unlike previous times when they used to be packed with housemaids rejected by some sponsors. Officials at these offices said the reason there were no maids in the offices is due to the advent of Ramadan, as well as India’s decision to stop sending housemaids to work in Kuwait. One of the office managers who has been in this business for 16 years said human traffickers seeking easy money have been bringing housemaids directly without help from labor offices at a relatively lower cost of KD 500-650. They would then ‘resell’ them in Kuwait and make up to KD 600-800 in profits, he said. – Al-Rai

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