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Wednesday , October 27 2021

Venues set for illegal ‘homebound’ Indians

KUWAIT CITY, April 16, (KUNA): The Interior Ministry declared venues for temporary hosting of Indian residents who breached residency law, pending their departure for free and without penalties.

The ministry said in a statement that male Indians in Al-Farwaniah Governorate should show up as of Thursday until Monday at the set temporary housing site in Al- Farwaniah: Al-Farwaniah Girls Elementary School, Block 1, Street 76. As for female Indians, residing in Al-Farwaniah and desiring to leave the country, they should come to Al- Muthanna Boys Elementary School, Block 1, Street 122.

Additionally, Indian female residents of Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, desiring to leave the country without charges and penalties, should turn up at Rufaidah Al-Aslamiah Girls School, Block 4, Street 200.

As to Indian males in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, namely those willing to leave, they should turn up at Naim bin Masud Boys Elementary School, Block 4, Street 250, also during the set duration from Thursday until Monday.

Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Resident Coordinator in Kuwait Dr Tarek Al-Sheikh refuted reports that the Kuwaiti government asked the UN to step in and help deport violators of the residency law to their respective countries.

He expressed full confidence in the approach of the government of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to strengthening the country’s new vision for humanitarian action and rule of law.

Dr Al-Sheikh made the remarks in a press release on Wednesday following a visit by Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Iman Ereiqat and Head of Office of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Samer Haddadin to one of 12 temporary dwelling sites of illegal residents in Kuwait.

He applauded the relentless efforts made by the Kuwaiti government to naturalize the illegal residents in accordance with the rules and standards of the Ministry of Interior with a view to alleviating their suffering from the malpractices of “human traffickers.”

Dr Al-Sheikh echoed Haddadin’s statement during his tour that Kuwait did not seek UN intervention in the deportation of violators of residency law “who can by no means be called refugees.” “The State of Kuwait proved to be a humanitarian country of justice and law while addressing the crisis of the novel coronavirus,” the senior UN official said.

Dr Al-Sheikh noted that the joint IOM-UNHCR team were accompanied by Kuwait’s Acting Assistant Foreign Minister for Human Rights Affairs Talal Al-Mutairi and head of the repatriation taskforce Maj-Gen Abdin Al-Abdin during their visit to the temporary housing of illegal residents at Tareq Al-Sayed Rajab Middle School for Boys in Sulaibikhat Area.

“Such sites were designated for housing the violators of residency law who opted voluntarily to return to their home countries,” he said, noting that these persons were provided with all services during their temporary stay, including sleeping rooms, clinics and three meals a day, in keeping with international standards.

“The State of Kuwait has set the end of April as a deadline for the violators of residency law to leave voluntarily without having to pay any fines or travel ticket fairs,” Dr Al-Sheikh pointed out. On her part, Ereiqat lauded as trailblazing Kuwait’s efforts to address the affairs of violators of residency law in a humanitarian manner.

“Once again, the State of Kuwait proves to be a true center of humanitarian action,” she said, taking pride in the partnership between the IOM and Kuwait in carrying out this project pursuant to the best international practices.

On the combat against COVID-19, the IOM representative said Kuwait made its utmost to contain the spread of the pandemic without affecting the vulnerable people, particularly the low-income expatriates and temporary workers.

Meanwhile, Haddadin said Kuwait’s handling of the illegal residents’ affairs overmatched the international standards relating to such cases. On behalf of the UN Refugee Agency, he thanked Kuwait for its leading humanitarian role and the decisive steps to stem the tide of COVID-19 from the very beginning.

Haddadin expressed hope for Kuwait to continue playing a pioneering role in combating the pandemic through prevention of crowded dwelling of law-abiding expatriates and addressing the file of violators of residency law humanely.

Ministry of Interior is granting visitors of temporary residency a three-month pardon effective between March first and May 31.

The decision, taken by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh, covers those whose residency or visit visas expired between March 1 and May 31.

Therefore, this category of residents in the country are effetively given a temporary residency valid for three months, between March first and May 31. According to a ministry statement, the decision, taken due to the extraordinary circumstances in the country, covers residents of all categories whose residency has expired, visitors who entered the country and whose visas have expired. Procedures required on part of sponsors can be conducted on the ministry website: www.moi.gov.kw.

Deputy Prime Minister, Interior Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh said combating human trade and residency law violators are “related to national security and demography.” There is high level government coordination in this regard to monitor and clamp down on companies and all who have a hand in these offenses, he warned.

In line with Cabinet designation, a special task force has been formed to gather data, information and lend support for legal measures against culprits behind presence of “ghost labor” and fight residency traders, as well as for taking preventive measures against such offenses.

One busted company is owned by a citizen, he said, adding that it had a file of more than 2,000 laborers and 577 workers who breached the residency law and had been blackmailed by the company, he said.

Al-Saleh indicated at coordination with the Minister of Social Affairs, Minister of State for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel pending measures by the Public Authority for Manpower to liquidate financial insurance presented by the company to the authority or the bank insurance to cover costs of extraditing the offending workers.

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