Illegal measures taken against expats
KUWAIT CITY, Aug 14: The State Audit Bureau has issued a report concerning evaluation of the efficiency of government procedures aimed at curbing the spread of marginal workers.
The bureau conducted evaluation of Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) in terms of the mechanism followed in bringing expatriate workers in Kuwait based on the estimated needs in both private sector and oil sector. It also studied the procedures adopted by PAM for implementing the eighth item in the sustainable development plan that targets enhancement of economic development.
The report included observations on some procedures that violate the International Declaration of Human Rights. It stated that these violations include collecting money from the workers in order to bring them to Kuwait for work – a phenomenon referred to as “Residency Trafficking”.
The report included other observations related to hiring workers for hard jobs that do not match the job description in the work permit.
The report affirmed that many of these violations were committed under the sureness that the laborers cannot complain due to their urgent need for work. It also highlighted violations related to mistreatment of expatriate workers especially marginal workers to the extent that some sponsors humiliate, insult and beat their workers as well as seize their passports.
The report elaborated on illegal measures taken against expatriate workers such as preventing them from traveling to their home country, and slackness in resolving disputes involving expatriate workers by the relevant committees, as well as the violation of preventing expatriates from working for different sponsors if they refuse to continue working for their first sponsor, in addition to the violation of non-payment of end-ofservice indemnity to expatriate workers.
It specifically pointed out the violation of discrimination in payment of salaries based on nationality of the workers instead of their job, and highlighted violations related to abuse of laborers, and assigning them to tasks outside the specified working hours.
The report insisted on the negative effects of residency trafficking particularly on the security aspect due to increase in the number of marginal workers, considering the cultural differences and lack of education. It linked the low salaries with the tendency for some workers to resort to practicing illegal activities including crimes for earning extra money.
The report stressed on the economic consequences of increase in the number of expatriate workers in Kuwait, as it increases the unemployment rate among Kuwaiti citizens. This is especially considering the fact that the private sector prefer hiring expatriate employees due to many factors such as easier way of dealing with them, relatively low salaries, and higher productivity compared to Kuwaiti employees.
By Fares Al-Abadan Al-Seyassah / Arab Times Staff