New plan to prosecute agents of illegal maids

Updated 22 February 2016

New plan to prosecute agents of illegal maids

DAMMAM/RIYADH: The Ministry of Labor and the Public Security have agreed on a new plan to prosecute offenders involved in the illicit trafficking of domestic workers which is against the Kingdom’s residency and work regulations.

Citizens and residents are urged to have no dealings with those who supply maids illegally.
This decision was made at a meeting between Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani and Public Security Director Othman bin Naser Al-Muhraj at the ministry’s headquarters in Riyadh. The purpose of the meeting was to find a way to monitor and track violations related to the illegal trafficking of housemaids.
The meeting was attended by Ahmad Al-Humaidan, deputy labor minister, Abdullah Abuthunyan, undersecretary for planning, development and information, Ahmad Al-Hadlaq, public security director for field operations and Abdul Aziz Al-Hassan, director of the general department for combating cybercrimes in the public security department.
The participants discussed the causes for domestic workers running away from their employers along with security, physical and social consequences.
They stressed the importance of coordinating efforts between the ministry and security in order to receive regular reports on domestic workers who have run away from their employers.
Also discussed were means of facilitating the reports by using modern technology and its applications.
The Labor Ministry announced earlier that the relevant departments are working to monitor violations related to ads in the media by unauthorized individuals or entities which sell or lease domestic workers illegally.
At the same time, the Gulf states are working on unified legislation pertaining to national and expatriate employment which will be adopted by the end of 2016. The legislation will be mandatory for all member states.
Speaking to a local newspaper, Amer Al-Hajair, the director at the executive office of the Council of Ministers of Labor and Social Affairs, the first point to be dealt with in the new regulations will be in relation to household workers.
According to him, there are efforts to unify the GCC labor system on these points as some differences remain between the Kingdom and other GCC states.
He said the plan would include outstanding economic and social issues, in addition to pending legislation, and would set clear deadlines for the implementation of the resolutions.

GCC summit calls for greater economic and defense unity among Gulf countries 

Updated 10 December 2019

GCC summit calls for greater economic and defense unity among Gulf countries 

  • Heads of the delegations land in Riyadh before the 40th Supreme Council meeting gets under way
  • King Salman tells the summit that the GCC has overcome many crises in its history

RIYADH: The GCC summit called for greater regional economic and defense integration as the meeting chaired by King Salman came to a close in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The final statement, read by GCC General Secretary Abdullatif Al-Zayani, called for finalizing legislation for financial and monetary unity by 2025, according to the meeting's final communique.

The statement also called for boosting military and security cooperation to maintain regional security.

“The leaders of the GCC countries have affirmed today their keenness to preserve the strength, cohesion and strength of the GCC …  as an oasis of stability, security, economic prosperity and social peace,” the statement said.

It referred to attacks in the last year against Saudi Arabia, including coordinated missile and drone strikes against major oil facilities blamed on Iran.

The statement said the GCC states “stand unified against the attacks” and that this reflected the Gulf defense agreement that says “aggression against a member state would be considered as aggression against all the GCC states.”

“The highest goal of the Cooperation Council is to achieve coordination, integration and interdependence among the member states in all fields in order to reach their unity,” it said.

The 40th Supreme Council meeting was chaired by King Salman, who met the heads of each delegation as they landed.

They included the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

In his opening remarks, King Salman said the GCC had managed to overcome many crises that the region has faced.

He said the current set of challenges “call for concerted efforts to confront them.”

“The Iranian regime continues its hostile actions to undermine security and stability and support terrorism,” the king said.

He said the GCC must “work with the international community to stop the interference of this regime, deal seriously with its nuclear program and the program to develop ballistic missiles.”

There was no mention in the final communique of the dispute between Qatar and other Gulf and Arab countries. 

But Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah was the most senior Qatari official to attend the GCC summit since 2017 - the same year Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt launched a boycott of Qatar over its links to extremist groups among other things.

Speaking after the meeting, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said: “The four countries (boycotting Qatar) continue to support the efforts of the Kuwaiti Emir and value their success.”

Al-Zayani, who is stepping down as secretary general, said all the GCC leaders had praised the efforts of the Emir of Kuwait in preserving the unity of the cooperation. 

At a preparatory meeting on Monday, Gulf foreign ministers approved the nomination of former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf as the next secretary-general of the GCC.

His term will begin in April 2020 following the end of Al-Zayani’s term.