Strengthening the skills of officials with the Domestic Workers’ Department in Kuwait.

The ILO FAIRWAY Programme and the Public Authority for Manpower in Kuwait have concluded a training workshop to contribute to the Domestic Workers Department’s goal of ensuring high-quality dispute resolution by its labour investigators

With hundreds of thousands of households employing more than 600,000 migrant domestic workers in Kuwait, the challenges facing labour investigators who handle labour dispute cases in this sector are significant. In collaboration with the Domestic Worker’s Department,  the ILO organized a workshop to help build the capacity of the investigators in dispute resolution and cross-cultural communication.

Under Law 68 of 2015 on Domestic Workers, the Domestic Worker’s Department is required to settle disputes between employers, worker and/or recruitment agencies, and it is important that such mechanisms are both accessible and effective. To have the skills to achieve these goals, labour investigators are required must have a deep understanding of laws governing domestic work, but also understand how to communicate cross-culturally and in a gender-sensitive manner.

The training covered multiple topics including international labour standards, mediation, and dispute resolution principles; followed by a deep-dive on effective cross-cultural communication, using empathy as a central focus. Training techniques included interactive exercises using role-play, videos and recordings from domestic workers to bring their voices to the center. This was much appreciated by the labour investigators, who also had the chance to voice the challenges they faced and explore creative solutions. “We really felt like someone was listening to us and our challenges,” said one of the participants. “We really value and appreciate the efforts of the ILO and we hope we can continue this cooperation and have more trainings focused on these issues,” said another.

The training ended with a brainstorming of ways that labour investigators who further deepen their skills, and leverage partnerships with community organizations.

“The training was an excellent opportunity to support the Domestic Workers Department with very practical skills, and is in line with ILO objectives to improve labour dispute resolution mechanisms. We hope to continue to build and nurture our partnership with PAM." Said Ms Siham Nuseibeh, ILO Technical Officer in Kuwait.