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A recent Oxfam article dives deep into the impact of remittances on national economies and migrant communities. The report also examines high transaction costs, where a significant percentage of the remittances are siphoned off as fees.

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Kuwait’s Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) recently announced that a new shelter for male migrants is expected to be opened soon.

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Saudi’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development recently announced that recruitment agencies must receive female domestic workers arriving for the first time to the Kingdom at the airport, and provide them with accommodation before they begin employment. 

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Bahrain yet again postpones the implementation of the wage-protection system (WPS). Bahrain now expects to implement the WPS in September 2019.

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Oman has issued a temporary visa ban on migrant workers in certain private construction and cleaning sectors for 6 months.

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Bahrain now requires migrant workers reported as “absconders” or “runaways” to pay for their own repatriation costs.

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Migrant workers’ eligibility to bring family members to the UAE will now be based on their income alone, rather than on their profession.

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Security sources say that Kuwait will launch a large-scale detention and deportation campaign on an estimated 120,000 irregular migrants. Thousands of migrants have already been arrested in the past six months, in what officials say is a crackdown on visa traders and fake companies.

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Yet another (illegal) accommodation caught fire in Bahrain this week.

No one was physically harmed but the men, all from Bangladesh, lost everything.

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A new agreement between Saudi and Ethiopia has set domestic worker salaries at SAR 1,000 (USD 266.66). 20,000 domestic workers are expected to arrive in the Kingdom by March.

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Migrants can now lodge complaints and requests in Hindi, in an effort Abu Dhabi says is aimed at improving access to justice and attracting foreign investment.

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In a bid to reduce recruitment costs and address labor shortages,  Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior has reportedly lifted a ban on domestic worker recruitment from the Ivory Coast, Mali, Benin, Senegal in addition to Nepal, and Vietnam.  It is unclear if new labour agreements have been signed with any of these countries.

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The UAE announced a new insurance scheme for workers and employers. The deposit scheme is intended to ensure workers receive unpaid wages, end-of-service, gratuity, as well as holiday and overtime allowance if their employers are unable to pay.

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The majority of migrant workers in Qatar no longer need permission from their employers to leave Qatar, as per a new law enacted on September 4, 2018.

Law No. 13 of 2018 amends Law No 15 of 2015, the ‘landmark’ reforms once hailed as the end of the Kafala system. Qatar initially announced the abolishment of the exit permit in 2015, but quickly reinstated the requirement

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The UAE has announced a three-month amnesty starting on August 1st, 2018.

The amnesty will allow migrants who have overstayed their residency to either remain in the country by regularizing their status and paying a fee, or leave the UAE without legal penalties. Migrants who entered the country irregularly will also be allowed to leave without penalty.  

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Kuwait and the Philippines have signed a MoU on the employment of domestic workers.  Provisions of the agreement include commitments to 24/7 hotline and creation of a special police unit to respond to complaints, guaranteed access to phones, and a prohibition against confiscation of passports. The Philippines’ ban on workers to Kuwait was lifted shortly after the agreement was signed.

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