Al Watan Daily: "U.S. keeps Kuwait on human trafficking blacklist"

, ,

"Although Kuwait''s ranking on the U.S. State Department''s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report remained at Tier III, the report noted that the Kuwaiti government has begun to examine this issue in a more serious light.

The United States on Tuesday added six African countries to a blacklist of countries trafficking in people, and put U.S. trading partner Malaysia back on the list.
Staying on the blacklist list are U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Kuwait but also Cuba, Fiji, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Sudan, and Syria, according to the State Department report for 2009.

"This year''s TIP Report for Kuwait notes that elements of the government of Kuwait and the Kuwaiti public have begun to examine this issue in a more serious light, and are looking forward to further progress," said the U.S. Embassy in a press release on Tuesday.

It added that the report, which was also issued on Tuesday, included reports on 180 countries, in addition to the United States.

The annual TIP Report is mandated by the U.S. Congress and it scrutinizes the measures that the government of each country has undertaken to combat this problem. The TIP Report however, is not based on the level of TIP present in any individual country.

According to this year''s TIP Report on Kuwait, it indicated that the government "demonstrated some progress in punishing offences in trafficking this year." It noted that while the government did not punish any offenders under the specific charge of "human trafficking," it charged 12 individuals with domestic labor abuse and registered 1,762 cases against persons charged with falsifying labor petitions.

The report also noted that in September 2007, the government opened a temporary shelter for female victims of forced labor. The shelter has a maximum capacity of 40 and is intended to provide medical, psychological and legal services.

During its first full year of operation, 279 domestic workers, the group most vulnerable to trafficking and abuse, entered and departed the shelter.

There is, to date, no shelter available for male migrant workers. In 2007, the government proposed opening a larger shelter that would be able to accommodate up to 700 men and women. An existing building was finally selected in 2008 to serve as the shelter and 2.5 million U.S. dollars was allocated toward its refurbishment. The building has however not been opened yet.

The report also said that throughout September 2008, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs organized a series of lectures in mosques throughout the country where imams discussed the rights of domestic workers according to Islam. (for link, click

0 Responses on "Al Watan Daily: "U.S. keeps Kuwait on human trafficking blacklist""