Domestic workers

News: Kuwait to set 90 dinar monthly salary for Ethiopian domestic workers

Domestic workers hold up placards condemning the kafala law. Photo: The Alliance of Migrant Domestic Workers in Lebanon/Open Democracy/Archives 2020

Addis Ababa – Khaled Al-Dakhnan, the head of the Kuwait Federation of Domestic Labor Recruitment Offices, said that the salary of new Ethiopian domestic workers in Kuwait will be set at around 90 dinars per month (≈ $293) .

Kuwait announced this during the visit of an Ethiopian delegation led by Nigussu Tilahun, Minister of the Ministry of Labor and Skills. According to the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry, the delegation arrived in Kuwait on April 16 and was to “finalize the labor exchange agreement between Ethiopia and Kuwait.” The agreement will help thousands of Ethiopians gain job opportunities in Kuwait,” MoFA said.

The Ethiopian delegation met with officials from the Kuwait Public Authority for Manpower and the Federation of Domestic Workers Recruitment Bureaus, Kuwaiti media reported this morning.

The two countries are expected to sign a working agreement which provides for the reopening of “the Ethiopian embassy or one of the offices in the country, to follow up on the affairs of domestic workers so that Kuwait can deal directly with the embassy of the office. Ethiopian in Kuwait and not through the intermediary offices,” according to Ethiopian state media.

The agreement will help thousands of Ethiopians get employment opportunities in Kuwait”


Kuwait is one of the destinations for Ethiopian domestic workers who migrate to Middle Eastern countries in search of a better life. But the country also exploits kafala a system that ties migrant workers to agents and requires workers not to change jobs without the employer’s permission.

In March 2017, a video of an Ethiopian domestic worker falling from the seventh floor of a residential building in Kuwait sparked global outrage. Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned the working conditions of domestic workers in Kuwait and called on the authorities “to investigate the working conditions that lead to all these escape or suicide attempts and to refrain from accuse the employees of “leaking”. No one should have to resort to climbing tall buildings to escape their workplace,” HRW said in response to the viral video.

Kuwait briefly suspended the recruitment of Ethiopian domestic workers, but lifted the ban in April 2018. The two countries have since been discussing to finalize the signing of the agreement governing the recruitment of domestic workers. AS