Kuwait has been an ILO member state since 1961 and has ratified 19 ILO Conventions including seven of eight Fundamental Conventions. According to Kuwait’s Central Statistical Bureau, in 2016 the country had a population of about 4.1 million, 70 per cent of whom were non-nationals.
Kuwait has the longest experience in tripartite participation among the Arab States, with long-standing national tripartite consultative bodies. Through its country office in Kuwait, the ILO continues to support the Government of Kuwait in various areas, including labour inspection, labour law, domestic workers' rights, as well as migrant and forced labour.
ILO technical assistance to Kuwait presently aims to assist the restructuring of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour to address national priorities including migration and human trafficking.
Labour Governance and International Labour Standards
The Government of Kuwait has been giving International Labour Standards a significant attention. Accordingly, the ILO has provided technical advisory services to improve reporting on International Labour Standards in Kuwait, according to priorities articulated by the Government to review of the Labour Code.
The ILO supports reforms to labour migration in Kuwait through its regional projects on labour migration in the Arab States. As part of this support, the ILO advises Kuwait on its long-term migration requirements in the contexts of International Labour Standards and migration requirement scenarios under different economic and demographic profiling options. In 2013, the ILO launched a research portal to document and review labour migration trends and policies in the Arab States with various key stakeholders in Kuwait.
In the International Labour Conference, Kuwait voted in favor of the ILO Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189). However, ratification of the Convention requires appropriate national legislation to implement its various elements. Accordingly, the ILO is in discussions with Kuwait regarding possible measures to align existing national legislation and the standard unified contracts on domestic work in accordance with Convention No. 189. In addition, the ILO is discussing support to Kuwait in order to fast track judicial processes for migrant domestic workers.