KUWAIT: Tier 2 Watch List
The Government of Kuwait does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated significant efforts during the reporting period by passing by-laws to implement the 2015 domestic labor law, and co-sponsoring the future establishment of a centralized recruitment company, that, once operational, will reduce recruitment costs and serve to combat illegal recruiting fees. Officials also referred 39 cases of illegal recruitment for criminal investigation under the 2015 domestic labor law, and prosecuted 15 individuals under the 2013 anti-trafficking law, which resulted in nine convictions. The government also amended the 2010 labor law that increases penalties for employers who engage in unscrupulous recruiting practices. To curb the prevalence of North Korean workers subjected to trafficking, the government halted Air Koryo flights and ceased issuing new work visas to North Koreans. However, the government did not demonstrate increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period. Many officials continued to use arbitration and administrative penalties as the main avenues of resolving grievances filed by domestic workers, instead of investigating such cases as human trafficking crimes, and protracted litigation and subsequent appeals processes led most workers to decline to file court cases. Corruption at all levels dissuaded workers from reporting trafficking cases to law enforcement. The government did not regularly use formal established procedures for identifying victims, and foreign workers who quit their jobs without permission were often subjected to criminal penalties, detention, and deportation. Therefore, Kuwait remained on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year.