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Kuwait tackles Iqama system 12, August 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Kuwait, The Gulf.
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The Gulf Times reports that the Kuwaiti Government is approaching a breakthrough in reforming its migrant labour laws. The central pillar of these new proposals is an agreement allowing foreign nationals to change jobs after three years of service with or without the consent of their employer or after just one year with mutual consent.

Whilst such a breakthrough may appear to be little to celebrate, Kuwait is currently in the last and worst category of the US State Department’s list of offending countries for migrant labour abuses and real changes are welcome.

Yet despite some in Kuwait hailing this decision as a major breakthrough with the Minister of Social Affairs and Labour saying that this is a “move is a first step towards the total abolition of the sponsorship system and aims to put an end to modern-day slavery,” others are less enthusiastic. Some, somewhat incredulously, even have the temerity to call for its ‘careful implementation’ “to ensure that the employers’ rights are not abused”.