KSHR working to spread culture of respecting human rights
This is the first of a series of articles on the status of migrant workers in Kuwait during the first third of the year issued in a report by Kuwait Society for Human Rights through the Unit of Monitoring and Following- up Workers Rights’ Issues. – Editor
The Unit of Monitoring and Following- up Worker Rights’ Issues in Kuwait has issued a report on the status of migrant workers in Kuwait during the first third of 2018, in which they discussed the legal changes that targeted the workers and the impact of these changes at the local and international level.
This report investigates the situation of labor in Kuwait and is specialized in monitoring the legal and administrative variables in the field of labor, whether negative or positive. It also examines such variables dimensions and their effect on migrant laborers “non-citizens” as well as their effect on Kuwaiti society, state, economic vision and foreign policy.
This report is a product of translating what is happening inside Kuwait, according to the following criteria:
■ Publications on media and social networking sites.
■ Complaints received by the Kuwait Society for Human Rights (KSHR) via the hotline, which receives workers’ complaints and inquiries in Arabic, Hindi, English and Urdu or via the e-platform that receives complaints in Arabic and English.
■ Field visits to labor groups in different locations.
■ Administrative decisions issued during the reporting period.
■ Communication and coordination with competent government authorities to get the latest statistics and indicators related to workers’ issues. The reporting period covers the first third of the current year 2018: “January, February, March and April”.
Kuwait Society for Human Rights (KSHR) is working to spread the culture of respecting human rights; promote awareness of universal human rights instruments and defend all individuals whose rights are violated. In the framework of the KSHR concern to protect and promote these rights, it monitors the changes in the labor market, especially in the legal aspect, with a focus on migrant labor.
Since last year, the KSHR has been monitoring the legal violations perpetrated against migrants in Kuwait. Recently, the efforts to monitor the irregularities against migrant workers have been narrowed.
The migrant workers were allowed to obtain any legal advice pertaining to the field of work through a hotline, an e-platform and a phone application, or to ensure submitting a pleading for a number of cases that require intervention, free of charge.
The KSHR shouldered such critical activity for its faith and commitment to the preservation of rights and freedoms for all. It focuses on migrant workers because they are a «vulnerable group»; however, the role they play in promoting for Kuwait may harm the country›s reputation externally from a humanitarian point of view, especially as it is a country of humanity well-known of giving generously.
The KSHR believes that any administrative or legal violation, individual conduct or violation of the workers› rights by companies may harm the reputation of Kuwait in the international forums, human rights and community forums. Any infringement of the workers› rights is circulated internationally through foreign media and international human rights organizations, which puts the foreign policy of Kuwait in an embarrassing situation, and many people lose trust in the state›s efforts exerted on protecting the workers› rights, as it is circulated that Kuwait abused a worker in parallel with talking about its constant humanitarian assistance.
The KSHR believes that building new Kuwait begins with building human beings and is well aware that building human beings is done through feeding them with positive values and granting them rights and privileges as a citizen and resident and not feeding them with messages of violence, discrimination or racism. It believes in the importance of uplifting balanced discourse in lieu of the authoritarian views.
The KSHR carries out different activities to fight such discourse, and it publishes many press releases and reports. This report is just a small part of a larger activity carried out by the KSHR, and through this report, it hopes to reach out to those concerned with combating the spread of hatred in the country in order to double their efforts and replace hatred and calls for extremism with the right to a decent life for all, legally, administratively and socially conscious.
Kuwait›s population is 4,564,204 people; 3,182,367 are non-Kuwaitis and 1,381,837 Kuwaitis, i.e. 30.28% of the population are Kuwaitis, and 69.72% are non-Kuwaitis. This means there is a shortage of Kuwaiti population which has led to complaints about the “demographic imbalance” and complaints about “the depletion of public services, such as health facilities and roads, traffic congestion and environmental pollution. Also, in the field of work, Kuwaitis complained about unemployment among citizens, waste of public funds, and preference over Kuwaitis.” Migrant labor in Kuwait is one of the most important elements in the Kuwaiti economy, either through the labor force or through consumer spending.
On the other hand, the migrant labor force participation rate is 82.2% of the total population aged 15 years and above, 95.5% for males and 65.5% for females, ie the total number of non-Kuwaiti workers is around 2,272,600 million migrant workers, 672.6 thousand individuals in the domestic sector and 1.6 million individual in other sectors. Regarding the other fields, migrant labor is a major driver of many vital economic sectors in the country, the most important of which are the real estate market, banks, telecommunications, automobiles and private education activities, as well as a large purchasing power in the nutrition, retail and public transportation sectors.