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Kuwait, pioneering steps in human rights issues

Kuwaiti Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice Omar Al-Sharqawi
Kuwaiti Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice Omar Al-Sharqawi

By Abdullah Al-Marshad

KUWAIT, Dec 9 (KUNA) -- The human rights topic in general and the rights of foreign workers in particular occupy a large part of Kuwait government strategies.
Coinciding with the celebration of the International Human Rights Day, which falls on December 10 annually, Kuwaiti officials reiterated on Monday, the continuation of local efforts to protect human rights, in the belief in the principles of equality, non-discrimination and human dignity that the Kuwaiti legislator drew from the tolerant Islamic law.
In line with the international resolutions concerned with the field of human rights, perhaps the most prominent of which was the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued in 1948, Kuwait was keen to adhere to the relevant international treaties and covenants, believing in the importance of the international community joining forces to achieve international peace and security, protecting civilians and dedicating human rights values.
Kuwait has clear human fingerprints and tangible achievements in this field by disseminating and promoting public and private freedoms, which made it occupy a world-class position in addition to its national human rights achievements, most notably the creation of the National Human Rights Bureau as a national requirement and international benefit.
On this occasion, Kuwaiti Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice Omar Al-Sharqawi told KUNA that Kuwait believed in the principles of equality, non-discrimination and human dignity which the Kuwaiti legislator drew from the tolerant Islamic law and out of its keenness to criminalize all types of trafficking in persons.
Al-Sharqawi, who is vice-chairman of the permanent national committee on implementing the national strategy to prevent trafficking in people and smuggling of migrants, stated that Law No. 91 of 2013 regarding combating trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants has been issued.
He also pointed to Kuwait's keenness to protect domestic workers and guarantee their rights through the promulgation of Law No. 68 of 2015 regarding domestic workers and established a center for manpower shelter, which is concerned with receiving victims of trafficking in persons and providing medical and food services in addition to communicating with their country's embassies.
On regional cooperation in this field, he noted that a decision was issued to the Ministers of Justice of the GCC States in their twenty-eighth meeting to adopt the model rules to combat trafficking in persons.
For his part, Kuwaiti Assistant Foreign Minister for Human Rights Affairs Talal Al-Mutairi affirmed that Kuwait worked to adopt several measures on the ground to limit the exploitation of contracting workers.
Al-Mutairi pointed out that there is a legislative environment in Kuwait that is in line with international standards, pointing to Law No. (91/2013) concerning combating trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.
He stressed that there are cases that are currently being considered in Kuwaiti courts for people who have been placed under the penalty of this law, adding that the Kuwaiti authorities have not and will not tolerate such cases, which unfortunately may harm our record in the field of human rights.
Kuwait is a unique role model in dealing with and responding to human rights decisions and recommendations issued by the UN special rapporteurs and the UN Human Rights Council, said the representative of UN Secretary-General, the organization's resident coordinator in Kuwait, Dr. Tariq Al-Sheikh.
Al-Sheikh affirmed the UN great interest in working with Kuwait in the field of human rights because of its positive spirit in dealing with any problems related to those rights.
Kuwait is one of the countries that was pioneering in terms of its constitution towards working to preserve human rights and dignity and give the greatest measure of protection to preserve these rights, he added.
This is evidenced by the UN naming His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as the leader of the humanitarian action, as it came well and deservingly culminating in the course of his work and the efforts he made over many years to raise the status of Kuwait high.
Al-Sheikh extended his sincere congratulations to Kuwait on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, appreciating the untiring efforts of His Highness the Amir to preserve human dignity in various regions around the world and the distinguished role of the Kuwaiti government that established human diplomacy in its permanent cooperation with the UN. (end) amn.aa