8.2.1 Paying all staff and faculty at least the living wage
8.2.2 Unions & labour rights for all
8.2.3 Policy on discrimination in the workplace
8.2.4 Policy commitment to no forced labour, no modern slavery and no human trafficking
8.2.5 Policy on guaranteeing equivalent rights of workers
8.2.6 Policy on pay scale equity
8.2.7 Pay scale gender equity
8.2.8 Process for employees to appeal on employee rights
Section Three – Employment of Juveniles
It shall be prohibited to employ persons who are below the age of 15 years.
Subject to the approval of the ministry, it shall be allowed to employ juveniles who reached 15 years of age but did not exceed 18 years subject to the following conditions:
a- They shall not be employed in industries or professions that are, by a resolution of the Minister, classified as hazardous or harmful to their health.
b- They shall have a medical examination before the start of employment and thereafter have periodical similar examinations at intervals not exceeding six months. The Minister shall issue a resolution in which he shall determine these industries and professions, as well as procedures for and intervals of such medical examinations.
Juveniles shall work for maximum of six hours per day, and shall not be employed for more than four hours straight, followed by a break of not less than one hour.
They shall not be employed for overtime working hours, on weekly rest days, official holidays or at any time from 7:00 in the evening to 6:00 in the morning.
Section Four – Employment of Women
It is prohibited to employ women at night during the period from 10:00 at night to 7:00 in the morning. This excludes hospitals, sanatoriums, private treatment homes and establishments in respect of which a resolution by the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor shall be issued. The employer shall, in all cases referred to in this article, provide them with all security requirements as well as transportation means from and to the workplace.
The working hours during the holy month of Ramadan shall be excluded from the provisions of this Article.
It shall be prohibited to employ any woman in works that are hazardous, arduous or harmful to health. It shall also be prohibited to employ any woman in jobs that violate morals and that exploit her femininity in violation of public morals. No woman shall be made to work at establishments that provide services exclusively for men.
Such works and establishments shall be specified by a resolution from the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor after consultation with the Labor Affairs Consulting Committee and the competent organization.
A pregnant working woman shall be entitled to a paid maternity leave of 70 days, not included in her other leaves, provided that she gives birth within this period.
After the end of the maternity leave, the employer may give the working woman, at her request, an unpaid leave for a period not exceeding four months to take care of the baby.
The employer may not terminate the services of a working woman while she is on such leave or during her absence from work because of a sickness that is proved by a medical certificate that states that the sickness resulted from pregnancy or giving birth.
The working woman shall be allowed a two-hour break during her working hours in order to feed her baby according to such conditions as shall be set forth in the Ministry’s decision. The employer shall establish a nursery for children below the age of 4 at the place of work in the event where the number of female workers exceeds 50 or the number of workers exceeds 200.
A working woman shall be entitled to remuneration similar to the remuneration of a man if she performs the same kind of work.
Kuwait ratified ILO Convention No. 138 (1973) on the Minimum Age in 1999 and Convention No. 182 (1999) on the Worst Forms of Child Labour in 2000.
Act No. 38 of 1964 establishes the minimum age for admission to employment at the age of 15. However, there is no age limit for domestic workers because they are excluded from the law’s scope. A Ministerial Decree of 2004 obliges the employers of children between 14 and 18 years of age to record the child workers, as well as the type of work. Children between 15 and 18 years of age are not allowed to perform hazardous work as described or catalogued in a list of hazardous occupations which was last updated in 2010. Working children are not allowed to work for more than six hours a day.
In practice, there are serious concerns about the situation of child domestic servants and possible forced labour. It is reported that underage domestic servants from Asia have travelled on forged documents that show higher ages and are employed in Kuwait. The ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) noted in an Individual Direct Request that “according to the information available at the Office, there were credible reports of foreign women and girls having migrated to Kuwait as domestic workers who were coerced into situations of debt bondage or involuntary servitude and that Kuwait was a destination country for children trafficked primarily from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines and Sri Lanka for the purposes of sexual and labour exploitation.” Similar concerns have also been raised by reports under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The law prohibits child labour but there are serious concerns about the situation of underage domestic servants who are employed in Kuwait with forged documents that show a higher age.
Kuwait ratified Convention No. 29 (1930) on Forced Labour in 1968 and Convention No. 105 (1957) on the Abolition of Forced Labour in 1961.
The law prohibits forced labour but there is no specific anti-trafficking law. The Criminal Code is used to punish trafficking offenses. The Code also prohibits forced prostitution and prescribes imprisonment of five to seven years depending on the age of the victim. The government has recently adopted a regulation prohibiting employers in the construction and oil sectors from withholding the travel documents of their employees. However domestic servitude, which is the sector where the mass of the abuses are recorded, is not covered by this regulation.
Recruitment agents and kinship networks help Asian migrants to leave their country for a job opportunity in Kuwait and other Middle East countries. Reportedly, many migrants pay high fees for the employment opportunity they buy before reaching the destination. Such migrants are at high risk of being coerced into forced labour and indeed many become indebted peons.
In Kuwait, there are 660,000 female migrants working in domestic servitude and private cleaning services. Men usually work in construction, oil industry, transportation, public cleaning and sanitation. Migrants sometimes get a contract before leaving their country or upon arrival; nonetheless the agreed payment, working time, benefits and other employment issues are often not respected. It is also reported that many sponsors withhold the migrant's pay, passport and other documents. Female workers undertaking housekeeping and domestic services are often confined in the house's premises and may suffer abuse and sexual exploitation. In 2009 foreign embassies received more than 10,000 complaints about labour exploitation as well as physical, psychological and sexual abuse.
The sponsorship system of employment regulates the entry and employment of migrant labour. The worker's permit of employment and residence status is pegged to the employer's consent to hire the worker. Without such consent, the worker is not free to quit or must face imprisonment, fines and deportation.
Some domestic workers flee the homes where they are exploited but there is only one shelter which it is reported to have closed. Many runaway women reportedly end up victims of pimps who force them into prostitution while preventing their arrest. The sponsorship system does not provide for victim identification. A revision of the rules in 2011 allows for an investigation before deportation of the runaway but domestic services are excluded.
Reports find that Kuwait authorities do not arrest nationals for trafficking even for cases of systematic abuse and that in practice there are no arrests or convictions for trafficking. In 2010, a man that forced women into prostitution was arrested. However, cases not related to commercial sexual exploitation are treated with civil penalties such as fines.
The government promised an ILO technical assistance mission in February 2010 to replace the sponsorship system with migration regulations that comply with international standards, and said the same to the UN Human Rights Council in September. The government enacted Law No. 6 of 2010 which established a Public Authority for Labour Force but according to the CEACR, the law does not abolish the sponsorship system.
The Kuwait Trade Union Federation (KTUF) and the General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT) have recently signed a memorandum of understanding aiming at promoting cooperation of the two countries’ governments, monitoring recruitment agencies, promoting a role for the unions in the protection of migrants’ rights in various ways and taking joint actions toward the respect of workers’ rights.
The sponsorship system makes migrant workers vulnerable to various forms of forced labour and exploitation. Especially in domestic services, the government fails to prevent or prosecute forced labour or to identify and protect victims of forced labour and abuse.
GUST Code of Conduct
In GUST Employee Code of Conduct Policy, article I. Policy, Our Commitment states:
The Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) is committed that forced labor, modern slavery, human trafficking, and child labor are not taking place in our organization.
GUST Employment Policy, article I, under “Employment Conditions” point I: Candidates must be at least 18 years of age and not been convicted of any serious crime or offences and should be of good conduct and behaviour.
The Global Studies Center
The Global Studies Center at the Gulf University for Science and Technology in Kuwait conducts and supports research on cross-national topics. It examines political, economic, social, and cultural matters from a global perspective. We organize seminars, invite researchers, and publish a bi-annual newsletter. The Arabian Gulf region is not the only focus of our research. We are happy to function as partners for any kind of academic event. For all matters contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Global Citizenship in Kuwait: Perspectives and Obstacles
Global citizenship is the umbrella term for social, political, environmental, and economic actions of globally minded individuals and communities on a worldwide scale. It has gained popularity as one of the United Nation’s goals for human dignity, empowerment, and for positive change in societies.
Global citizenship attempts to cross over between different groups of people, surpassing separatist categories that continue to exclude people within societies.
Global citizenship aims to create more ethical, tolerant, and anti-racist youth cultures, gender equity, and disability inclusion.
Given the necessity of global citizenship today, this GSC research project aims to answer the question:
· What does it mean to be a global citizen today in Kuwait and in the Gulf and how can it be achieved?
· What are the roots of exclusion and racism, and how are these phenomena manifest in Gulf societies?
· How can policy-makers, educators, and researchers contribute to the creation and empowerment of global citizens in Kuwait?
The research project involves specialists in politics, education, culture, and media. Furthermore, researchers, administrators, activists, and non-profit organizations collaborate.
We work on the following topics:
· Identity politics and belonging
· Racial politics in Kuwait and the GCC
· The situation of migrant and domestic workers
· Gender inequalities, barriers to women’s inclusion at the workplace, women’s empowerment
· ‘Wokeism’ in Middle Eastern Cultures. This topic is covered by some contributors to the “Woke Conference,” especially Nesma Elsakaan and Jibril Latif
· Inclusion in schools, anti-bullying, and tolerance
· Disability and Education
· Slavery in the Gulf, research covered by GSC members in cooperation with Dr. Nesma Elsakaan and her research group from the University of Palermo.
· Attitudes towards minorities in the Gulf covered by Lisa Blaydes (Stanford University).
The research is in keeping with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) developed by UNESCO. Within the framework of “SDG4 on Global Citizenship Education” and “UNESCO for the Gulf States and Yemen” the goal is to empower Students through Global Citizenship Education.
The project might reveal some problematic issues concerning Global Citizenship in Kuwait.
It might help in creating and developing strategies to reduce or eliminate issues related to racism that can be dealt with in a white paper to be submitted by GUST to the supreme council of planning.
The CAUSE Children’s Carnival
In a joint effort between students and faculty, the Department of Mass Communication and Media (MCM) launched this year’s annual student-faculty collaborative project ‘The CAUSE with a children’s carnival at the Scientific Center waterfront. This comes as part of a month long initiative that focuses primarily on teaching students and the wider society about humanitarian-oriented efforts in social responsibility.
Families joined in on the various activities and performances of the carnival that were organized throughout the day. These included several activities for children, such as Alex the Magician, storytelling sessions, a Future Kids performance, and Eftah Ya Semsim Show (the Arabized version of Sesame Street). Children also got to participate in a Graffiti Workshop with famous graffiti artist, Monetarism, and enjoyed several arts and crafts stations that were set up along the waterfront.
Aiming for greater impact, MCM partnered with the United Nations Development Program, Spread The Passion Volunteer Group, and a local crowdfunding platform, Jaribha.com, to organize a unique set of events whose aim is raise money for three important children’s causes in Kuwait using the benefits of technology and cutting-edge techniques in public relations and advertising. Each cause was paired together with an advertising and PR company, with help from selected MCM students and their clubs, in order to “compete for causes” during the month of March 2016. These teams are:
- First Team: Kuwait Association for Learning Differences with Senyar Marketing and Branding
- Second Team: Kuwait Child’s Rights Society with Blu Lowe Marketing and Advertising
- Third Team: Abeer2 Voluntary Group for the Mentally Disabled with Horizon FCB
These teams will then use publicity and creativity to raise money for their designated charity through a process known as “crowdfunding.”
The final phase of this initiative culminates with The CAUSE conference which will take place on GUST’s campus from April 10-14. This conference will host 10-15 guest speakers from participating organizations, various community leaders, and a number of student-oriented activities and a closing gala ceremony. At the gala, the GUST-MCM Al-Shakoor award will be given for lifetime achievements in the field of corporate social responsibility which will be awarded by an independent judging panel.
GUST raises awareness on Literacy Day
The GUST English Department, organized Literacy Day, to raise awareness on the issue of literacy worldwide and its effect on future generations. A day filled with activities and collaborations filled the GUST campus including essays competition, project competition, the Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) segment and a performance reading of the known children’s book “The Gruffalo” by young children to highlight the event and a book donation drive to benefit local schools.
GUST students were encouraged to participate in an essay competition and a project competition last month and the winners were announced today at the GUST Literacy Day! In the essay competition, Mohammed Yaqoub won first place for his essay “Effects of Literacy on People,” Haneen Al-Othman in second place for “Literacy for Peace,” and Talal Al-Qaoud in third place for his essay “Effects of Literacy on People.”
As for the project competition, Deemah Al-Mulla stole the show with her Literacy Day Project reading to nursery school children weekly at the Mooney Face Pre-School. Deemah learned a lot from her experience at the preschool and said she believes she “enjoyed it as much (if not more) than the kids did!”
Following the announcement of the winners, which took place at GUST’s 8th Annual Book and Information Fair, the Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) segment followed, which was a campaign directed to students, staff and faculty to literally, drop everything and read, for 10-minutes. Many participated in this campaign. Ms. Ann Newman, instructor in the GUST English Department and one of the main organizers of Literacy Day, said, “Reading is one of the most important things you will ever learn, as it not only hones your language skills and increases your vocabulary, but also it provides the key to open a world full of knowledge. The best part is whether you’re reading in your native language or in English, reading is a transferable skill.”
And the highlight of the event, the sweet end, was a delightful performance by Dr. Hussain Al-Sharoufi’s young children, Zahra and Ali Al-Sharoufi, who played the main characters in a reading of the known children’s book “The Gruffalo,” in English and in Arabic. Many young children were in attendance including GUST students’ younger siblings and staff and faculty’s children. It was a fun event that everyone enjoyed.
The English Department would like to thank everyone who made the event possible and hopes that they can continue this tradition in the years to come.
A book drive is available for those who would like to donate books. Boxes have been set up around campus and will remain there until the end of the week, when the books will be taken to local schools.
GUST Expressions Society donates to Bayt Abdullah with creativity
GUST's student club, Expressions Society, started a one-week campaign to help raise funds for the children of Bayt Abdullah, through creativity and interactivity.
Bayt Abdullah is a children’s hospice which was designed to accommodate the needs of children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and their families, in Kuwait.
The students set up a booth in the center of the university where they had many small wooden boxes set up. The way to donate is to buy one of the boxes with a minimum charge of KD2. Once you buy the box, you can design it with them or on your own time and bring it back. With the boxes they got back, they created a small structure in front of their booth with different designs and messages from the students to the children at Bayt Abdullah.
All the proceeds from box sales along with the structure will be taken to Bayt Abdullah once the campaign is done. This is one of the many ways the university and its students try to give back and maintain relationships with their surrounding community.
GUST holds Gergean event for Staff and Faculty
GUST held a Gergean event on its campus for staff, faculty, and their children. The event, organised by the HR Department, took place in order to keep the tradition alive, and to introduce aspects of Kuwaiti culture foreign members of the GUST community may not be familiar with.
Gergean is a gulf-wide tradition which takes place halfway through Ramadan, whereby children dress in traditional clothes and go from house to house, singing traditional songs and get candy in return.
As part of the festivities, attendees were treated to live music, henna tattoos, delicious treats, a pop-up photo studio, and fun games.Also set up in place for kids were bouncy castles, buggies, carraige rides, face painting, and bracelet making.
GUST & Yoga Gives raise funds for Gaza
On Friday the 25th of July GUST & Yoga Gives Project arranged a donations-based Yoga class for Gaza. The class helped raise funds for the refugees & children affected by the conflict. All proceeds went to The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) & The Palestine Children's Relief Funds (PCRF). Thank you to all Yogis who donated.
Afaq Honored Disabled Learners at GUST
. The Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) hosted the Afaq group in support of their cause: create a better quality of life for disabled learners. The ceremony consisted of many speeches and heart-warming presentations of the plight of the disabled in the Kuwaiti Society.
The conference hall at GUST was filled with many faces, from the organizers and university officials to the most important viewers: the disabled children and their families. Those who were on wheelchairs got a front row view of the ceremony honoring them and their peers. Plaques, awards and gifts were presented to the children to show the society’s and the organization’s most sincere encouragement for the effort they put in for their value of education.
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
On December 20th and 21st, GUST’s Student Union has held its annual 2010 Carnival. This year’s theme was “Let it Snow” – and did it ever! Small snow-like material filled the air the whole night and with the chilly night breeze, it really made it feel like it was snowing.
The Carnival was a hit event which was enjoyed by not only GUST students, staff and faculty but by their families, children and other guests from outside the university. The carnival incorporated many activities for all ages. It had numerous booths organized by both students and external vendors that wanted to display their foods or crafts for everyone to enjoy. Some booths offered delightful chocolates, Kuwaiti sweets, accessories, mobile accessories, small pets, and winter sweaters. Also among the booths was a photography studio set especially with the theme of the event to capture the moments of such a great day spent there. One of the carnival’s main – and most popular attractions – was the “Haunted House” maze – the long line outside the maze showed you the anxious face of people who couldn’t wait to get horrified! Children took part in magic shows, danced to musical demonstrations and showed their tough side in competitions at the Roman Theater while their older siblings were at the Haunted House and their parents were socializing over snacks near the GUST fountain area.
The crowd’s laughs, claps and screams echoed in the halls of the university for a night they would cherish for a while to come.
GUST & OXadventure launch internship trip to India
In a first-of-its-kind move, the Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) and the Kuwait-based, non-profit organization OXadventure launched a special trip for outstanding students through the University’s internship programs. In collaboration with GUST’s Mass Communications and Media Department, the College of Business Administration and the division of Student Affairs, a group of GUST students and staff conducted aid work in rural Bangalore, India, helping to build a dormitory for underprivileged children and orphans between June 15 and July 1.
The ten-person team worked hand-in-hand with locals to challenge themselves in a foreign environment and learn the value of helping others. By enduring very basic living conditions, performing demanding physical labor and establishing teamwork, the group came together to accomplish a common goal and in the process, forged lasting friendships and bonds amongst each other. The participants included Hazel Joseph, Khaled Bahrami, Ahmed Al-Refai, Mohammed Qabazard, Suad Al-Baqsami, Sara Al-Shehab, Muneera Al-Mulla, Maisam Al-Mufarrej, Lujain Al-Hassawi, and Shaimaa Taha, as well as volunteers form OXadventure. Following their activities in rural Bangalore, the group travelled to Kerala for four days to experience and explore a different facet of Indian culture.
“We are really excited about this new program,” commented Dr. Fahed Al-Sumait who runs the internship program for the Mass Communications and Media Department at GUST. “Our students and volunteers worked extremely hard in the short time they were in India and they came back with fresh perspectives on the world. They even continued to do charity work as soon as they returned to Kuwait and we hope they will do even more in the future. They are certainly worthy ambassadors of our university, our country and their generation.”