160 Burmese Suffer Forced Hard Labor in Kuwait

Dhaka: 160 Burmese have been suffering from great trouble in Kuwait as their employer has forced to do hard labor in the desert after bringing them to the country on the promise of carpentry jobs, according to a letter sent by a fellow migrant worker.

The letter said they were brought to Kuwait by Shwe In-arr, a Burmese labor company, in October 2011 on the promise of carpentry jobs, but after arriving they had their official work permits taken and held, and have been sent into the desert and forced to work excavating earth there .

“They are now in great trouble because they have to do the job of digging earth in the desert, even though they have come here for the carpentry jobs as promised by their labor company. They informed that they have to dig pits as tall as two men’s heights in the desert everyday without getting leave or holiday since they arrived here,” the sender of the letter told Narinjara over the phone.

He added that they were promised by the Shwe In-arr Company that they would be paid at least 5 to 6 lakh Kyat per month for any job in Kuwait, but they have been paid only about 3 lakh Kyat per month for their hard labor in the desert in the country.

“The worst things they have been suffering from their job is they can not leave or run away from their job and have no rights to undergo treatment in the hospital whenever they fall sick because their employer has control of their official permits for staying and working in the country,” he said.

He said that their payments are also cut by their employer for any day they cannot work because of illness.

According to him, they have been employed by Korea’s company to dig holes in the desert in Kuwait through the Shwe In-arr Company that bases its main office in the FMI in Hlinetharyar in Rangoon, and has also sent of its officials – Min Thu – to supervise them for their work for Samsung.

He said 30 of them are from Kyaukpru Township in Arakan State and they had worked for the Shwe In-arr company as carpenters when employed by them in the area, and the company sent them to Kuwait on promises of similar carpentry jobs and high wages, but they are now stranded with difficulties and trouble in Kuwait without any opportunity to return to their homeland.