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Kuwait's Human Rights Society Focuses on Pressing Ministries on Summer Heat Labor Conditions

On July 6, 2009

In Kuwait, workers are not permitted to work in weather that exceeds 50 degree Celcius.  In addition, in June the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor issued a decree banning laborers from working outdoors between 12-4 pm effective of June 1 until August 31, 2009.

Nonetheless, many violations continue to occur and there are even accusations of official thermostats being tampered with to never exceed the temperature at which work must cease by law.  The Kuwait Human Rights Society (KHRS) is one of the only civil society groups that exist in the country to vocally denounce these malpractices.

According to The Kuwait Times:

"The Kuwaiti Human Rights Society (KHRS) has urged the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) to act against companies that illegally force their workers to work under the sun during noon time, and to pass laws that would penalize the employers in question for doing so.
The KHRS issued a statement in which it said that members had witnessed a number of workers working during midday hours, when the summer temperatures in Kuwait can exceed 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), reported Al-Qabas.

Forcing workers to work in these conditions breaks the country's labor laws, which permit the ministry to intervene to protect workers from such treatment, which could be severely damaging to their health, the society added.

The KHRS statement asserted that these companies' actions clearly demonstrated the company owners' and managers' lack of respect for helpless workers' human rights."