The National Assembly

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Rapporteur of the National Assembly's human rights committee MP Hamdan Al-Azemi yesterday accused companies with major government contracts of being involved in trafficking in persons. Azemi said some of the companies with large government contracts recruit thousands of workers from abroad and leave half of them on the streets, taking hefty fees on them.

The statements came after a meeting by the committee with several government agencies and ministries concerned with the issue of trafficking in people like the ministries of interior, foreign affairs and justice in addition to the Public Authority for Manpower and the permanent national committee for the prevention of trafficking in people.

Hamdan said that several ministries are involved in the issue of trafficking especially the ministries of interior and social affairs and labor. Azemi said that the biggest source for trafficking in labor is the government contracts, adding that some companies with such contracts recruit 2,000 workers at a time when they need only half the number.

He said that the other half is exploited to generate illegal money through fees by letting the workers go to the market, adding that some companies sharply reduce the value of the contracts and utilize the surplus laborers they recruit to generate huge sums. The lawmaker said that some companies recruit three or four thousand workers and make huge profits on them. He called for increasing supervision on government contracts to prevent the trading in visas.