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Failure to resolve 60s issue in 2021

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Rights body issues quarterly report

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 17: The Kuwait Society for Human Rights (KSHR) has issued its quarterly report on the human rights situation in Kuwait, reports Al-Rai daily. The report explained that a number of positive and negative administrative changes related to the employment file in Kuwait was observed during the months of October, November and December.

Among the positive changes, the Department for the Protection of Public Morals and Combating Human Trafficking has allocated a hotline number to receive reports and complaints related to human trafficking. It believes that the failure to resolve the issue related to employment for those over the age of 60 years is among the negative matters in the file of employment in Kuwait.

The following is a review of the 14 positive and 4 negative changes that the report highlighted:-

The 14 positive steps are:

1. The Department for the Protection of Public Morals and Combating Human Trafficking has allocated a hotline number to receive reports and complaints related to human trafficking.

2. The Fatwa and Legislation Department insists on the need to cancel the administrative decision No. 520/2020 that prohibits issuance and renewal of work permits for those of age 60 and above and hold high school certificates and below, as it considers such a decision as illegal.

3. The Information Systems Department has added and activated on the Sahel application services related to the transfer of the temporary residency to the previous article and the payment of tickets for the deportees.

4. The General Department for Residency Investigation has closed down 20 fake offices for the recruitment of domestic workers, and 60 violating workers.

5. The General Department for Residency Investigation arrested nine Asian expatriates who did not have any identification papers.

6. The Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) resumed the work of the inspection committees entrusted with organizing the labor market and controlling marginal workers who are in violation of the residency law.

7. PAM has issued administrative circular No. 18/ 2021 for the sectors and departments concerned with reissuing entry visas for work and issuing work permits in accordance with the usual and established procedures.

8. The revival of the project to complete the automated interface with the labor-exporting countries is being studied.

9. PAM has designated an email to receive reports on any increase in the costs for recruiting domestic workers.

10. If citizens wish for domestic workers from outside the country for a period more than six months with automatic expiration of the residency, they can apply at the Residency Affairs Department for an absence permit before the expiry of the six-month period.

11. The Ministry of Interior has started implementing a decision to ban the use of delivery bikes on highways.

12. The General Department for Residency Investigation Affairs called for not harboring any workers unless they are on personal sponsorship.

13. The Kuwaiti and Indian sides have agreed to recruit domestic workers from India with the age category for new contracts for female workers set at a minimum of 30 years and no more than 55 years.

14. The General Secretariat of the Cabinet has commissioned PAM to update the work permit system for migrant workers.

The four negative steps are the following:

1. PAM issued administrative circular No. 20/2021 to stop the issuance of work permits to recruiters with commercial visit visas starting from November 24, 2021.

2. Until the end of 2021, the status of workers over the age of 60 years has not been decided upon.

3. PAM renewed an internal circular it had issued in 2015, prohibiting the annual increase of the salaries of non- Kuwaiti workers in the private sector by more than KD 50.

4. The situation related to workers whose residence permits were forfeited while they were abroad has not been dealt with.

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