Kuwaitis launches campaign against decision to deport expatriates over 60

Kuwait: Kuwait government has taken a decision to stop renewing work and residency permits for expatriates who reached the age of 60 and do not hold a graduate certificate.

The decision was introduced in 2020, but it wasn’t until the beginning of this year that it took effect.

The authorities have clarified that the work permit will not be renewed from January 1 onwards. A local daily newspaper, citing government sources, reported that the new law would be strictly enforced following the government’s order.

Many criticized this step, describing it as illogical and discriminatory, as it seeks to expel thousands of people and their families who resided in Kuwait and contributed to its development.

As per the media reports, Kuwait is expecting to lose more than 70,000 expats aged 60.

On Sunday, a campaign called “I am against the decision” took over social media with people across the board expressing their opposition to the decision, with many calling for it to be amended or repealed.

They stressed the necessity of canceling the decision or introducing radical amendments to it that would allow these workers, most of whom spent their lives working in the service of Kuwait, to stay and not leave it, especially since some of them are residing for more than 40 years.

The hashtag was launched by Kuwaiti citizen Mohammad Sharaf, on the social networking site Twitter on Sunday, during which he rejected his country’s decision not to renew the work permit for those who have reached the age of 60 years who hold a high school certificate or less.

According to his statements, Sharaf called on jurists, politicians and MPs to take action and review or cancel the decision as soon as possible before its implementation, stressing that his campaign succeeded, but hashtags and tweets alone are not enough.

“I hope that the campaign goes beyond the hashtag and social media and gets picked up by lawyers, human rights activists and politicians,” Shrraf told Gulf News.

The campaign achieved great interaction, as Kuwaitis commented and interacted with it revolving around the fact that the implementation of the decision “is considered unfair to this category, which has provided a lot to Kuwait and those in it for more than 40 years, in addition to some Kuwaiti citizens suggesting other ways to address the crisis.”

Ahmed Al-Fadhli, executive director of ATV channel participated in the campaign, declaring his rejection of the decision, which he described as “arbitrary”.

A journalist in the local newspaper, “Al-Qabas”, Bibi Al-Khudari, also expressed solidarity with this segment of expatriates, noting that she is Kuwaiti against this decision, attaching her comment to a previous report in which expatriates over sixty years old expressed their grief, because of this decision.

One of the Twitter user joining the campaign and wrote, “deporting elders to ‘fix’ broken demographics isn’t a solution but an ageist n borderline fascist act of ungratefulness #انا_ضد_القرار.”

Another twitter user wrote, “*#انا_ضد_القرار I am a proud Kuwaiti citizen, I am against this inherently inhumane decision that runs counter to our traditional Kuwaiti values and our view of Human Rights. We will soon regret this decision as soon as we feel the effects. This decision needs to be reversed.“