Kuwait to restrict travel by domestic workers

Workers must get written permission from sponsors if they want to travel abroad
Kuwait to restrict travel by domestic workers
By Shane McGinley
Thu 16 Feb 2012 11:03 AM

Domestic workers in Kuwait will not be allowed to travel overseas without written permission from their sponsor, it was reported on Wednesday.

Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior issued a statement declaring that domestic workers must get written permission or be accompanied by a member of their sponsor’s family if they wanted to leave Kuwait.

However, the ruling does not apply to workers wishing to travel back to their country of origin, the Kuwait Times newspaper reported.

Assistant Undersecretary Lt Gen Anwar Al-Yaseen said in a statement that a sponsor must inform authorities at Kuwait Airport if their domestic worker is planning to fly alone to a country other than their homeland.

Similarly, if the worker is planning to travel by land the border control authorities must be informed and if the travel is by sea then officers at the port of exit must be informed, Al-Yaseen added.

A number of Gulf states have tightened their border security in the wake of the Arab Spring revolts that toppled rulers in Tunisia and Egypt, and caused widespread unrest in Bahrain.

Kuwait in May 2011 barred nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan from entering the country over fears political instability in those nations could pose a risk to its security.

Bahrain’s flag carrier Gulf Air also suspended flights to Lebanon, Iran and Iraq in March at the height of its uprising, after what was described as “irresponsible comments” by the countries.

The Gulf state has repeatedly spoken out against “blatant Iranian meddling”, which led to the expulsion of Iran’s charge d'affaires in March.

Qatar last year attempted to scrap its visa-on-arrival facility for residents of 33 countries, including the UK and US, but later rejected the plan after appeals for the affected states.

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