Panel okays draft laws concerning charity work & national Labor Law
KUWAIT CITY, March 5: Rapporteur of the Health Committee of the National Assembly MP Osama Al-Shaheen said the committee during its meeting has approved two draft laws – the first concerning the draft law on charity work and the second an amendment to the national Labor Law – which will be submitted to the National Assembly for discussion during the next session, reports Al-Rai daily.
Al-Shaheen told reporters the charity draft law was submitted by the government and proposed by a number of MPs, consisting of 47 articles, considering it a comprehensive law to regulate charity work, especially as it is the first law issued after the law regulating the collection of funds for general purposes since 1959. He pointed out that the amendment to second article of the national Labor Law applies to both the Kuwaitis and expatriates in the private sector which increases the annual leave period from 30 to 35 days. The labor law was amended several years ago raising the annual leave to 30 – Fridays not included – when the labor law underwent major changes.
Shaheen revealed the amendments to the two laws were to be discussed during Tuesday’s session which would toughen the penalties for selling inedible food products, regulate the entry of food through land ports and the health insurance law for visitors, pointing out that the health insurance is similar to what is applied on Kuwaitis visiting any country and the same applies to visa procedures. Al-Shaheen stressed that there is a huge legislative gap, pointing out that “the humanitarian and relief work of Kuwait has developed and made great leaps in several new areas, which required us to organize this work.” He added, “We introduced in this law the mandatory maintenance of a register for associations and charity committees, similar to the commercial register of companies, which is an ‘open book’ where everyone can access the provisions issued by members of the boards of directors. He stressed the ministry is obliged to do this to achieve transparency, pride and definition of charity work of Kuwait.
Al-Shaheen said that the law approved the principles of governance in the prohibition to combine the membership of the board of directors and an executive position with remuneration, stressing that all matters related to governance was a consensus of the government or charity party. This is a source of pride that the law has intensified the previous sanctions and introduced penalties in the new law, whether in terms of collecting donations without a license or raising funds and public illusions in detail other than reality, or embezzlement of funds of donations or questioning charity work without right, under the supervision of the judiciary without prejudice to any second law that includes a heavier penalty law. He pointed out that the law is directed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor to develop charity associations to follow the charity, relief and humanitarian work done by Kuwait beyond its borders. He said that there are obligations in the law to include the name of Kuwait – which has been declared a humanitarian center by the United Nations – so that Kuwait has full knowledge about all work carried out overseas.