UN: Kuwait should scrap kafala system

Kuwaitis queue up to fill their cars with fuel at a petrol station in Kuwait City on August 31, 2016 on the eve of increased petrol prices. A UN rights expert on Thursday urged Kuwait to abolish its “kafala” system for foreign workers which has long been criticized as a form of bonded labor or even slavery.

Under the system, domestic workers are forced to work long hours, mistreated and beaten, prompting hundreds to flee every year, said Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, a UN special rapporteur on people-trafficking.
“The kafala system... creates a situation of vulnerability which favors abusive and exploitative work relationships,” she said.
Kafala should be “replaced by a different regulation allowing migrant workers to enjoy substantial freedom in the labor market,” Giammarinaro said at a news conference after a five-day visit to Kuwait.

English | September 9, 2016



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