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Kuwait mulling plans to scrap the Kafala system

GDN Online Desk

Kuwait City – The authorities in Kuwait are reportedly mulling plans to scrap the sponsorship (Kafala) system.

Minister of State for Economic Development Mariam Al-Aqeel will soon head a ministerial meeting to discuss the cancellation of the Kafala scheme for expats.

The measure is part of procedures to to be taken by the Government to address the demographic and labour market imbalances.

Kuwaiti rights groups have long called on the government to abolish its kafala system for expats, which has long been criticized as a form of bonded labor.

Sources said that the government is fully convinced of the need to cancel the sponsorship system in a bid to fight visa trafficking after previous attempts failed.

The sources also noted that cancelling expats’ sponsorship will improve Kuwait’s ranking on the lists of international organisations such as the International Labour Organisation and human rights groups.

The sources stressed that the new system after cancelling the kafala system will be closely related to the policies of replacing expats with Kuwaitis, namely in administrative positions in the private sector, which reflects the government’s measures to replace all expats in the public sector with citizens within five years.

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