‘Unfair moves will never resolve issue of demographics’
KUWAIT CITY, Sept 5: The most recent decision of the Public Authority for Manpower to delay those who are 60 years old until the beginning of next January to renew their work permits once before they leave the country and not converting family residency to work visa confuses families, many of whom do not know the mechanism that will enable them to continue staying with their children who are either working or studying in the Kuwaiti universities and schools, reports Al-Qabas daily.
The situation of the families led by fathers was that of helplessness, as the daily monitored complaints and appeals filed by several residents with the decision- makers to properly study the announced steps in order not to separate fathers from their families.
They said the father – even if he’s over 60 years old, continues supporting the family within the country, while the children study or work, noting hundreds of citizens are participating in various commercial activities, such as trade, contracting, or other activities that may negatively affect the economy.
In his opinion, Assistant Secretary- General of the Kuwaiti Society for Human Rights, Lawyer Atyab Al-Shatti, affirmed that decisions to dispense with migrant workers 60 years old and above is not applicable to those who have investments in the country, indicating it shouldn’t affect their services or prevent the renewal of their work permits.
Al-Shatti pointed to a legislative deficiency in not granting permanent residency to foreigners, as many of them were born in the country and lived here for so long that they do not have other countries to return to – besides spending all their money locally. She continued that “It is fair to grant a person born in Kuwait or spending a good part of his life in Kuwait permanent residence even after exceeding age sixty, because the person has a great affiliation with Kuwait.” Al-Shatti stated that such unfair decisions will contribute to creating a new problem and never resolve the issue of demographics, as they do not only constitute producers and workers but consumers who have positive economic impact in the country. She pointed out that issuing decisions to force some categories of workers to leave the country may lead to the disappearance of a large class of consumers, which will negatively affect the economy.
Lawyer and human rights activist Muhammad Al-Otaibi is surprised that labor administrations acted according to oral instructions even before decisions were issued for that purpose, indicating the obstruction of transactions and refusal to complete transactions under the pretext of having instructions without any official decision in place makes the matter a judicial quarrel and worth referring to the Administrative Court.
Al-Otaibi pointed out that any person affected by the failure to complete transactions may initiate a judicial dispute with the Administrative Court in the event that the transaction was not completed according to law, and verbal instructions were observed. Regarding the decision to prevent the renewal of work permits for non-university graduates who have exceeded 60 years old, Al- Otaibi suggested the decision should not be transferred as a way of their expulsion after spending their whole life in the country. Rather, they should be allowed, as is currently applied, to transfer to their children working in Kuwait to preserve the family and social entity.