No ‘human trafficking’ in Kuwait; rights protected

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KUWAIT CITY, July 31: The National Committee for the Implementation of the National Strategy to Prevent Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants, in the presence of representatives from the ministries of Interior and Justice, the Public Authority for Manpower, and the International Organization for Migration in Kuwait, organized an event commemorating the International Day to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which is observed annually on July 30, reports Al-Qabas daily.

During the campaign held under the theme “Together Against Trafficking in Persons,” Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice, Hashem Al- Qallaf, emphasized Kuwait’s dedication to upholding international standards in preventing human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, as well as safeguarding the rights of victims. Al-Qallaf highlighted that human trafficking has become a global concern, representing a grave violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms.

He stressed that this criminal activity knows no borders and takes various forms, depending on each state’s interpretation of the concept of trafficking and its commitment to respecting human rights principles. He further explained that Kuwait’s strong values of tolerance, brotherhood, and respect for others are refl ected in the country’s legislation, which addresses human trafficking comprehensively, enacting severe penalties for perpetrators to protect victims and witnesses. Notably, Kuwait enacted the Anti- Human Trafficking Law in 2013, prescribing penalties ranging from 15 years’ imprisonment to the death penalty in cases of victim fatalities alongside other relevant laws and the establishment of the center for sheltering expatriate workers. As of the present, the center has provided its services to over 5,000 beneficiaries since 2018.

Al-Qallaf reaffirmed the government’s unwavering commitment across all sectors to combat this crime and provide maximum protection to victims. As part of this commitment, Kuwait established the permanent national committee responsible for implementing the anti-trafficking strategy in 2018, with the active participation of relevant ministries and agencies. Mazen Abu Al-Hassan, the head of the United Nations Migration Agency in Kuwait, commended Kuwait for being one of the pioneers in the region to enact laws against human trafficking.

He defined human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, harboring, or exploitation of individuals under coercion, force, deception, or vulnerability. Aseel Al-Mazyad, the Director of the Public Relations and Media Department and official spokesperson for the Public Authority for Manpower, expressed the authority’s dedication to combat trafficking in persons through its involvement in the permanent national committee. She emphasized Kuwait’s significant role in this crucial field and the authority’s efforts to educate employers about human rights, especially in relation to protecting workers. The Permanent National Committee affirmed its commitment to enhancing international cooperation in the fight against trafficking in persons, recognizing the transnational nature of the crime.

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