Sierra Leone Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 August 2017
Following concerns raised by the government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, over the issuance of entry visas under Article 20 (Domestic Labour of Kuwait) to Sierra Leone nationals to work as house maids in the State of Kuwait, which has led to an influx of our nationals into Kuwait, thus creating serious problems and embarrassment to the government; the State of Kuwait through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Interior have taken a decision to stop the issuance of Entry Visas to Sierra Leoneans under Article 20.
Accordingly, the General Department of Residency Affairs in the Ministry of Interior of the State of Kuwait has issued Circular No. 140 (2017) effective 23rd July 2017 to all Directorates of the various Residency Affairs informing them about this decision.
The Sierra Leone Embassy in Kuwait, in collaboration with the State of Kuwait Immigration Department is currently processing Emergency Travel Certificates for those house maids who have gone through security checks to be taken to the repatriation centre, where they will go through the due process before repatriation to Sierra Leone.
The Sierra Leone Embassy in Kuwait is currently soliciting the intervention of the International Oganisation for Migration (IOM) to help in the repatriation process.
It could be recalled the Government of Sierra Leone from 2015 to date have repatriated a total number of 59 Sierra Leonean house maids from the State of Kuwait to Sierra Leone.
In view of the above, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has engaged relevant stakeholders regarding the thorny issues of human trafficking in Sierra Leone, and modalities are being put in place to bring this saga to an end.
The general public is also advised to report any person or persons suspected to be involved in such practice of trafficking our young girls and women to Kuwait to the nearest Police Station or local authority.
Meanwhile, relatives of victims of this predicament in the State of Kuwait are advised to contact our Embassy in Kuwait at Al-Zahra- South Surra, or call: 25243246-25243234 to help the Embassy to trace them and facilitate their repatriation.