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Saturday , January 29 2022

UN voices concern on over-60s saga, expat rights – Domestics raised

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 29: The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations has expressed its concern about the administrative decision recently issued by the Public Authority for Manpower to ban the issuance of work permits to those aged 60 years and above who hold high school diplomas or below and its equivalent, reports Al-Jarida daily. During its concluding observations on Kuwait’s third periodic report, a copy of which was obtained by the daily, the committee stressed on the need to do away with the decision to ban the renewal of residence permits for people 60 years and above in addition to taking legislative measures to abolish the punishment for ‘runaways’ to protect their economic, social and cultural rights.

The committee also expressed concern about the continued violation of the rights of expatriate workers, in addition to continuing to punish absconding workers, which exposes them to abuse and forced labor. It also recommended the need to raise the inspection capacity to monitor working conditions within companies to ensure the effective implementation of sanctions imposed on perpetrators of violations against labor rights and facilitate their access to courts, the judiciary and other dispute settlement institutions.

With regard to domestic workers, the Committee expressed its concern about the continued exploitation and abuse by business owners (sponsors) of these workers, as well as the failure to protect them with the purpose for which they were set, recommending the need to take the necessary measures to ensure the protection of the rights of migrant domestic workers and the imposition of deterrent penalties on business owners who violate the regulating legislation and inflicting effective deterrent penalties against them, in addition to the need to remove obstacles and barriers for such workers to access courts and judicial bodies, and to raise awareness among the public in general and employment of the Articles of Law (68/2015) regarding domestic workers, and to ensure the effective regulation of the work of recruitment and employment agencies and monitoring them to prevent the exploitation of labor, as well as harmonizing the laws of domestic workers and work in the private sector with regard to working hours, salaries and sick leaves, and ratifying the International Labor Organization Convention on Domestic Workers No. 189/2011.

The Committee recommended that Kuwait reconsider ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Non-discrimination should ensure that no one is left behind, as well as encourage the involvement of NGOs and other members of civil society in follow-up to concluding observations and in the national consultation process prior to the submission of their next periodic report. In accordance with the procedures for following up on concluding observations adopted by the Committee, Kuwait is required to provide, within 24 months, of the adoption of these observations, information on the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations, as well as submit its next periodic report in accordance with Article 16 of the Covenant by the end of October 2024, unless it is notified otherwise due to a change in the review cycle, and in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 68/268.

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