Select committee to deplete, diversify labor demographics in Kuwait.

Barely 10 days after the formation of the National Committee for Regulating the Demographics, headed by First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Acting Minister of Defense Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled, the Al-Qabas daily said the government of Kuwait is determined to uproot vice from society, purify the labor market of menial workers and clamp down on visa traders. Moreover, the committee is tasked with looking into the Kuwaitization of jobs in the state institutions.

The sources indicated that Al-Khalid has instructed the Public Authority for Manpower and other concerned institutions to exert more efforts to modify the demographics and intensify the efforts of the Ministry of Interior to arrest thousands of expatriates who are violators of the residence and labor laws and identify and eliminate fake companies and also identify those who sell visas and work permits. The Minister of Interior also stressed — according to the sources — the need to accelerate opening up to new countries that export skilled labor.

Meanwhile, the sources revealed that the Public Authority for Manpower and the concerned authorities referred to the Public Prosecution 139 cases of visa trade over a period of four years– from 2019 until the end of 2022. The sources told the daily during the past year alone 16 cases of visa trade were referred to the Public Prosecution constituting eight times more since in 2021 only two such cases were identified. According to the sources, 2019 and 2020 were the highest records of referrals to the Public Prosecution Office, with a total of 121 visa trade cases. In the same context, the head of the Migrant Workers Committee at the Kuwaiti Human Rights Society, Mishari Al-Sanad, told Al-Qabas that the sponsorship system causes some workers to live in a tragic situation, as a result of the employer’s delay in paying their salaries, forced labor and filing malicious reports without the worker’s knowledge which contributes to the high volume of this type of issues.

Al-Sanad added that forcing workers to work overtime without additional pay and housing are not suitable for human life due to the large number of workers huddled in a small place and to add insult to injury the owners of companies circumvent the law to their benefit, in addition to closing the company file without informing the worker and as a result the worker falls foul with the law. Al-Sanad referred to the report of the US State Department that was issued last year, as Kuwait’s rating decreased due to these issues, stressing that there was a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat such issues, indicating that the number of victims is large and increasing, and the government has not taken concrete and sufficient measures to protect them.

Al-Qabas learned that the tripartite committee was able, in just eight days in May, to arrest 205 violators of the Labor and Residence Law, 89 of whom were included in the list of those prohibited from renewing work permits, after confirming that they had purchased residency permits from a fake company. Informed sources said that the committee referred those in charge of the fictitious company seized in the Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh area, which sells visas to the competent authorities, while 13 fictitious offices managing domestic workers were raided in the Farwaniya and Mubarak Al- Kabeer Governorates.

Source- Arab Times.

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