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Kuwait Again Promises to Abolish the Sponsorship System, Set Minimum Wage for Migrants

On April 2, 2010

Kuwait's Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Dr. Mohammed Al-Afasi announced this week the government's intention to set a minimum wage for expatriate workers. In addition, Al-Afasi said that his ministry is in the process of creating an independent labor authority, which will eliminate the need for locals to sponsor migrant workers. According to him, the government has already enforced several regulation that would abolish the Sponsorship system.

While we are encouraged by such proclamations, we offer our readers to remain cautious. It is hard to forget that Dr. Al-Afasi announced plans to abolish the sponsorship system months ago, and yet Kuwait's new labor law, which passed in December 2009, did not include this necessary change. The law also did not set a minimum wage for private sector workers (most of whom are expatriates). We hope that this time, the announcements coming from Kuwait's government will materialize.