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ILO official praises bid to cancel the ‘kafeel’ system
April 27, 2014, 10:09 am

Consultant at the Regional Office for Arab States affiliated to International Labor Organization (ILO) Emanuela Bozan has said the step taken by Kuwait’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor to establish the Public Authority for Manpower is crucial because the sector is considered as the starting place for canceling the sponsorship system, reports Al-Jarida daily.

In a statement to the daily, she affirmed that ILO spares no effort to help the Public Authority for Manpower to succeed and that the organization is ready to support the Kuwait government with expertise and advice in this domain. She added a similar step to cancel the sponsorship system has been taken by Bahrain, and the experience had positive reflection on the labor market that employs hundreds of thousands of expatriate personnel.

As regards lack of legal measures to protect the rights of nearly 600,000 domestic personnel, she said the organization has been notified that Kuwait drafted a law to organize procedures for bringing in domestic personnel and the draft law will be passed soon, describing the step as positive and on the right path. “Although Kuwait has approved several international pacts to protect the rights of the category, the country does not have laws so far protecting their rights,” she noted.

On Kuwait’s attendance before ILO in Geneva to complete the periodical review scheduled for June, she said the organization registers notices on all countries related to expatriate personnel every two years. In addition, ILO registered several notices against Kuwait as regards the manner in which the expatriate personnel here in the country are treated, stressing Kuwait has interacted positively on the notices registered by ILO and taken serious steps to avoid them.

She indicated that ILO is not in charge of classifying countries in terms of the way they treat expatriate personnel, indicating the US Secretary of State is in charge of such measures; thus, ILO can not blacklist Kuwait among the countries that do not care about the rights of expatriate personnel.

She added that Kuwait is studying the possibility of canceling the sponsorship system through discussions and dialogue conducted with the organization and the Kuwaiti government.

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