Procedures ongoing to deport expatriates stranded in Kuwait

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Some embassies to provide temporary travel documents, tickets

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 11: While the Ministry of Interior is continuing to offer remarkable facilities to complete the procedures for the departure of some arrested expatriates who are in violation of the labor and residence laws, the embassies of some countries are working on finalizing the procedures for their citizens stranded in Kuwait, in parallel with the ongoing security campaigns by the concerned authorities, reports Al-Qabas daily. In this regard, the expatriates who are in violation of the labor and residency laws are provided with an exit visa as soon as they get clearance of their residency status of Kuwait and after paying the fines.

This happens in coordination with their embassies. In this regard, the Embassy of the Philippines in Kuwait has completed the procedures for 630 Filipino nationals, who were among those arrested and sheltered in the deportation center. Ongoing inspection campaigns in various areas of the country resulted in the arrest of hundreds of law violators among domestic workers or holders of Article 18 permit against whom absconding reports were filed, and they were sheltered in deportation center. These campaigns are part of the efforts to remove marginal workers and fugitives from the labor market.

A number of Kuwaiti citizens expressed their objection to being obligated to pay for the flight tickets for their absconded workers after they are arrested. In an interview with the daily, they demanded that the minister of interior and director general of the Public Authority for Manpower should work on amending the provisions of the domestic labor law, and avoid obligating the employers to pay for the tickets of the fugitives and absconders, especially since they refuse to work, adding that some workers have remained absconding for years without being arrested.

They expressed their criticism about the mechanism of obligating the sponsor to pay the value of the ticket to deport the worker from the country, despite filing a complaint against him since the first day of his absconding. The citizens insisted that this decision must be addressed, and the violating workers must be charged with the value of the ticket, and those who are deported must be blacklisted. They warned about a “black market” that lures domestic workers and urges them to flee from their sponsors’ homes to work in other fields in exchange for high sums of salary ranging between KD 250 and KD 300 per month. The citizens called on the concerned authorities to approve raising the value of the financial violations against the violators, especially the fugitive workers who were found working in the private sector.

In addition, many accredited embassies in the country are working on providing temporary travel documents and tickets for their violating or stranded workers, without harming the rights of employers. In this regard, informed sources affirmed that pending disputes with companies or owners of domestic workers are being resolved in the event that there are financial claims or cases filed against the worker other than the absconding case.

They explained that the violating worker, after settling his status and paying the fines, was granted an exit permit in coordination with the embassies. The Philippine Embassy, through two trips in August and September, was able to complete the deportation procedures for 630 Filipinos, including 22 children and 30 sick persons, who were among those arrested and sheltered in the deportation center.

In this regard, the Philippine ABS-CBN news website stated, in a visual report published on YouTube about the flight that departed from Kuwait on September 5, that the flight included 343 violating Filipino workers. Most of the returnees are domestic workers, and that the flight is the second from Kuwait and the largest in terms of the total number of departures.

Also, the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) revealed that it had arrested 606 violating domestic workers who had left their sponsors to work in the private sector during the first six months of this year. This means that the authority every month seizes 100 fugitive domestic workers who work for other parties in violation of the law.

In this context, the statistics issued by the Department of Recruitment of Domestic Workers in PAM revealed that 213 violations have been recorded against workers since the beginning of this year until July. The statistics showed that 74 violations, which were referred to the judiciary, were registered against workers who left their sponsors. The rest of the complaints were recorded in various fields by employers against their workers.

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