‘Kuwait labor law best regionally, globally’
KUWAIT CITY, May 22: In a unified clear and confident stance, the human rights organizations and labor unions in Kuwait described as “nonsense” the results of the survey conducted by the German “Inter- Nations” network, which classified Kuwait as the worst country globally for expatriates for the seventh time in eight years, reports Al-Rai daily. According to officials from human rights associations, Kuwait’s labor law is one of the best laws not only in the region but also in the world. They affirmed that Kuwait may not be the best for expatriates, but it is definitely not the worst. It is worth mentioning that the InterNations ranked Kuwait last in the world in terms of quality of life, leisure options, personal happiness, travel and mobility. It also declared Kuwait as the worst destination for expatriates in terms of ease of settlement.
Chairman of the Kuwait Association of the Basic Evaluators for Human Rights (KABEHR) Dr. Yousef Al-Saqar said, “There is an element of cynicism in such reports. We know that we are not the best, but at the same time we are not the worst. In addition, Kuwait signed the Convention to Combat Human Trafficking, and more than one person was prosecuted in this regard. The State of Kuwait has a relatively low cost of health insurance. There are more than one human rights association, as well as an association specialized in labor issues. There is also the National Office for Human Rights, which has a committee specialized in human trafficking. If Kuwait was the worst, we would not have had so many nationalities living here. Also, taxes in Kuwait are low compared to other countries. Emergency medical services are provided to everyone free of charge. Moreover, visa traffickers are being prosecuted. Yes, there is a delay in giving salaries to some people but we respond urgently to the cries of a few whose salaries were delayed.”
He concluded by saying, “We do not claim to be ideal or perfect, but we expect fairness and non-arbitrariness when describing the situation in Kuwait. This is unacceptable, even though we acknowledge that there are some mistakes that we are trying to fix.” In the same context, the Secretary General of the Kuwait Society for Human Rights Hussein Al-Otaibi said, “The classification of Kuwait in the InterNations’ report was unfair, because we are in direct contact with the immigrant workers of Kuwait. Kuwait cannot be considered the worst in the world, despite the presence of some transgressions. The services provided in Kuwait compared to other countries are the largest and the least expensive. On the non-governmental level, there are associations that provided assistance to workers in Kuwait during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the governmental level, Kuwait has been part of the International Labor Organization since the early 1960s and has ratified international labor agreements. Kuwait’s determination to improve international labor standards is something to be reckoned with. The surveys we conduct indicate that the positives outweigh the negatives, and the percentage of abuses are few compared to other countries.”
In addition, Head of the Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Recruitment Offices Khaled Al-Dakhnan said, “What was stated in the InterNations’ report is incorrect. Kuwait’s labor law is one of the best laws in the world and guarantees the protection of the worker. The state’s capabilities are facilitated to preserve labor rights.”