Call for integrated program to replace expatriate workers with Kuwaitis

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Bureau reports 21% increase in expatriate workers in last 3 years

KUWAIT CITY, July 3: The Audit Bureau has emphasized the urgent need to develop an integrated program and strategic plan to replace expatriate workers with national workers, ensuring that this transition does not negatively impact economic activity. This recommendation is part of 13 suggestions presented by the Bureau to the Public Authority for Manpower in its annual report on the Performance Control Department for the year 2023. The report aims to enhance the performance of various government agencies and improve their work and quality systems.

The Bureau’s report highlighted that the Authority administratively suspended 6,708 files for various reasons between 2021 and 2023. Despite these suspensions, the number of expatriate workers increased by 21 percent over the last three years, rising from 1,275,053 in 2021 to 1,545,078 in 2023.

The Court recommended that the Authority establish a clear labor policy to determine the actual needs for foreign worker specializations and review and develop ministerial decisions and administrative circulars regulating labor law to benefit all parties involved. The Court also stressed the need to “develop an integrated program and strategic plan to replace expatriate workers with national workers, without compromising the level of performance in economic activities in the country.”

Additionally, the recommendations include:

  • Tightening penalties for those committing residency trafficking crimes and referring their cases to judicial authorities.
  • Implementing awareness programs for expatriate workers about their legal, material, and living rights and duties.
  • Completing the integration with other government agencies linked to the Authority’s work.
  • Coordinating with the Central Administration of Statistics to obtain relevant data to cover the indicators of the eighth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals.

These measures aim to ensure a balanced transition that supports economic stability while promoting national employment.

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