Oct 182014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/09/07KUWAIT1397.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KUWAIT1397
2007-09-16 06:59
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
Embassy Kuwait

VZCZCXRO8632
OO RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHKU #1397/01 2590659
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 160659Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9944
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO PRIORITY 0290
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 0396
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA PRIORITY 0110
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA PRIORITY 0575
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0394
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 001397

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

FOR NEA/ARP, HNL/ISTC, AND G/TIP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/04/2027
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ELAB RP KU TIP
SUBJECT: PHILIPPINES AMBASSADOR: KUWAIT “WORST” PLACE FOR DOMESTIC WORKERS; NO TRAFFICKING TO IRAQ

REF: KUWAIT 1246

Classified By: CDA Alan Misenheimer for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C/NF) Summary: Filipino Ambassador Ricardo Endaya told
the Charge on September 3 that Kuwait is the “worst” country
in the Gulf region for domestic workers. He said the shelter
at his embassy houses more runaway domestic workers (200)
than any other Filipino Embassy shelter in the world. The
Ambassador said he had given up hope on the Kuwaitis
improving the situation of domestic workers and would try
instead to reduce the number of Filipina domestic workers.
Endaya said the only way Kuwait might make changes would be
as a result of U.S. pressure. Ambassador Endaya agreed with
the State OIG’s report that Filipino workers had not been
deceived into working in Iraq. He did say that he has
received an inordinate number of complaints from Filipino
workers about First Kuwaiti, the company building the U.S.
embassy in Baghdad and which has been accused of trafficking
workers to Iraq. End Summary.

¶2. (C/NF) Ricardo M. Endaya, the Filipino Ambassador to
Kuwait, told the Charge on September 3 that Filipina domestic
workers in Kuwait face more problems than in any other
country in the Gulf. He cited common complaints of long
hours, no days off and low wages, all-too-frequent cases of
physical abuse and/or sexual assault, and even rare instances
of murder. He said the shelter run by the Filipino Embassy,
which currently houses approximately 200 domestic workers, is
the biggest of its kind at any Filipino Embassy in the world.
Endaya called the Kuwaitis “incorrigible,” and said the only
way to reduce the number of problems was to reduce the number
of domestic workers in Kuwait. He said one of his main goals
during his tenure in Kuwait is to cut the number of Filipina
domestic workers by half (from 60,000). (Note: Endaya’s
assistant told PolOff separately after the meeting that the
Ambassador was considering lobbying Manila to reinstitute a
total ban on domestic workers coming to Kuwait. The
Philippines imposed such a ban in the mid-1980s but
subsequently lifted it. End Note.)

¶3. (C/NF) Endaya said the only hope for any progress in
Kuwait was U.S. pressure. He supported the Tier Three TIP
ranking and said it had “alarmed” the Ministry of Interior
(MOI). Nevertheless, Endaya argued that the USG should
not/not emphasize pressure for the GOK to create a
government-run shelter, largely based on his impression that
it would be run by one of Kuwait’s biggest domestic worker
employment agencies. (Note: Though the MOI had previously
suggested that non-governmental bodies would be involved in
the shelter, extensive discussions with GOK officials over
the past several months suggest this idea has been dismissed.
End Note.) The Ambassador urged the Charge to follow up
with the Sri Lankan and Indonesian embassies, whose
communities face similar problems. Endaya was pessimistic,
however, because the Indians, who have by far the most
foreign workers in Kuwait, refused to participate because a
confrontation might jeopardize its relationship with the GOK.

¶4. (C/NF) Endaya asked for more information about the
allegations of trafficking against First Kuwaiti, the company
building the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The charge conveyed
the conclusions of the OIG report, which refuted the
allegations, and asked whether the Filipino envoy sent to
investigate agreed with the OIG report’s conclusions
(reftel). Endaya said he had accompanied the Filipino envoy
to Baghdad, and they had conclusively determined that no
Filipinos had been taken to Iraq against their will. He
noted that he had been in Baghdad from 2003 – 2005 and that
there was a pattern of labor abuses of Filipino workers by
companies contracted or sub-contracted by the USG. He said
First Kuwaiti was the worst of these companies.

¶5. (C/NF) Endaya noted that the Vice President of the
Philippines had heard that First Kuwaiti had won contracts to
build seven more U.S. embassies around the world, including a
new embassy in Manila. He said that this would create a
public relations problem in the Philippines because of First
Kuwaiti’s reputation for poor treatment of its Filipino
workers.

********************************************* *
For more reporting from Embassy Kuwait, visit:

KUWAIT 00001397 002 OF 002

http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/kuwait/?cable s

Visit Kuwait’s Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/kuwait/
********************************************* *
MISENHEIMER

   

 

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