Integrate expats into society, abolish kafala system: Study


Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — A recent security research study has recommended integrating expatriates into society and abolishing the system of kafala (sponsorship).

The study, conducted by King Fahd Security College, said the kafala system has increased the number of expatriates in the country.

The study, titled: “Expatriate workers in GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries and their impact on security,” warned that some expatriates who hold a grudge against their sponsors turn vindictive and hence resort to crime.

It warned that the behavior of some kafeels (sponsors) also forces expatriates into taking the law into their own hands.
“The best remedy is to integrate expatriates into society and abolish the kafala system,” it said.

The study said that most expat workers come to the GCC countries with the sole objective of making money. It recommended spreading awareness among citizens to accept expatriates to help them overcome the feeling of marginalization.

Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, announced last month that Saudi Arabia was planning to give permanent residency to foreign workers similar to the US Green Card system.
“The Green Card-like program and a plan to allow employers to hire more foreign workers above their official quotas for a fee could generate $10 billion a year each,” the deputy crown prince said in an interview.

The planned move is part of an ambitious package of reforms to move away from oil based revenue to raise at least an extra $100 billion a year by 2020. The planned Green Card system could generate $10 billion, and another $10 billion is expected to be generated from the fees imposed to exceed foreign worker quotas.
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