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‘Ending Kafala system key to curbing visa trafficking’ – ‘Move to end expats exploitation’

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 3: Several citizens and expatriates have called for emulation of Qatar by canceling the Kafala system.

They are of the view that cancellation of the system will eliminate the phenomenon of visa trade to alleviate the suffering of expatriate workers, reports Al Seyassah daily.

In a special report, the daily pointed to gross violations and sufferings some expatriate workers are subjected to, which cannot be described, coupled with endless blackmail of their sponsors.

They noted cancellation of the system will ease the burden on private companies, as workers would go straight to the Ministry of Social Affairs to complete transactions, seeing that the problem is with employers.

An expatriate identified as Adel Majdi said cancellation of the Kafala system is the best ever solution to deal with the traders of visas. He said several expatriates have been duped after paying huge sums reaching KD 1,500 only to discover the companies that promised to employ them are non-existent or fake.

He indicated many of them have lost their life’s fortune and savings by coming to Kuwait only to return home with nothing. Another respondent named Sabr said his sponsor told him he could only renew his residency by paying KD 1,200 for 2 years, and he feels exhausted struggling everyday for mere KD 6 wage by working several hours day and night.

Meanwhile, international consultant at Kuwait Human Rights Society and the former head of the Expatriates Office Abdulrahman Al-Ghanim said the best solution to end the suffering of expatriate workers is to get rid of the Kafala system, because it violates basic human rights. He noted the previous statements regarding cancellation of the system were just talk and has not translated to reality.

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