Kuwaiti rights group calls to end kafala system

Human rights association also voices concern over the country’s mass deportation of foreign workers
Kuwaiti rights group calls to end kafala system
Image: Shutterstock
By Staff writer
Thu 15 Dec 2016 02:00 PM

A Kuwaiti rights group has called on the government to abolish its current kafala system for foreign workers and replace it with rules that are in line with international standards.

The Kuwait Association for the Fundamentals of Human Rights made the plea in its 2016 annual report where it criticized the system which prevents expat workers from transferring to new jobs before their contracts end without their employees’ consent, reported Kuwait Times.

The rights group also voiced concern over the interior ministry’s mass deportation of foreign workers.

“The association demands that no foreigner is deported out of Kuwait without a final court order,” it said in its report.

It called the separation of nationals and expats at public health centers “discrimination on the basis of nationality” and warned of “language of hatred” towards foreigners.

Furthermore, it called for the introduction of a “humanitarian and legal solution” for around 120,000 stateless people, locally known as “Bedoons,” who are deprived of Kuwaiti citizenship despite being born and having resided in Kuwait.

However, the association also praised some of the government’s improvements including a new law it imposed on setting a minimum wage for domestic workers.

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