Wednesday , October 18 2017

Need to take radical measures to combat visa traders: experts

‘Implement laws which aim at organizing local labor market’

KUWAIT CITY, July 3: Calls for population restructure in the country continue but actual means for implementing them in reality have not been found, especially with constant flow of expatriates annually.

Majority of these expatriates are marginal labor force. Observers and experts believe this phenomenon poses a huge risk if radical measures are not taken to combat visa traders. In this context, statistics issued by the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) indicate that the number of expatriates in the country has reached about 3,073,431 as of December 2016.

This is an increase of about 124,000 expatriates from 2015 when the number of expatriates was 2,931,401. Such an increase is considered to be very big. On the other hand, the number of Kuwaitis has reached 1,977,987.

This includes families being treated as citizens, non-Kuwaiti wives of Kuwaiti men who are yet to receive Kuwaiti citizenship and their domestic workers. The statistics also revealed a huge increase in the number of expatriates in the last ten years. In the 2005 census, the number of expatriates stood at 1,998,972.

This shot up to 2,433,691 expatriates in 2010. In 2016, this number further increased to exceed 3,000,000 with the inclusion of large number of marginal labor force.

Regarding this issue, Lawyer Mubarak Al-Mutawa stressed the need to implement laws which aim at organizing the local labor market in a manner that will bring an end to the presence of marginal labor force in the country. He indicated that he supports stringent laws that hold citizens accountable for being involved in the visa trade and for bringing expatriates into the country.

Lawyer Al-Mutawa said this is essential considering the huge increase in the number of expatriates on an annual basis despite calls and decisions that demand reduction of these numbers, especially of the marginal labor force in the country. “Throughout time, Kuwait has never been expatriate-repellent. However, with the horrific increase in the number of expatriate labor force in the recent years, an organized manner for the entry of expatriates is necessary to ensure only skilled and required labor force enters the country”, he added.

Meanwhile, a labor consultant at Kuwait Society for Human Rights Abdulrahman Al-Ghanim said any talk about repatriating expatriates in a bid to reduce their numbers in the country contradicts the proper vision for the development of Kuwait, as the country is still in need of expatriate labor force in majority of the professions.

By Najeh Bilal Al-Seyassah Staff

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