Sunday, August 9, 2009

Kuwait closer to sponsorship system cancellation

KUWAIT: The Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Dr. Mohammed Al-Afasi, recently said that a ministerial decree that will be issued today will allow all expatriate laborers to transfer their residencies from one sponsor to another without the approval of their kafeel (sponsor). Such a move will be the first step towards cancelling the sponsorship system, the minister said in statements made to Al-Rai.

This measure will surely help end the sufferings of expatriate laborers who have been inhumanely treated and abused by some companies known for human trafficking. They are being sold for certain sums of money as if we were living in the age of slavery," he said.

Furthermore, the minister said that expatriate laborers' rights would remain his main concern and that he would never rest until he fulfilled their demands and ended their suffering in order to restore Kuwait's image, which he said has been wronged by human traffickers.

Earlier, news reports indicated that, according to an official from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, the transfer of a residency from one sponsor to another can be done only after the individual works for one sponsor for three years, Al-Anbaa reported. The official predicted that once the decision is approved, it will take effect immediately.

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