The Public Authority of Manpower is set to refer a number of companies to the public prosecution this week on charges of human trafficking, a senior government official said.
The decision follows a similar step taken earlier this year in which four major companies were charged with violating law number 91/2013 that pertains with combating human trafficking and smuggling of immigrants, said Hind Al-Subaih, the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Minister of State for Planning and Development. Investigations in previous cases are still ongoing, and local authorities remain patient as they seek conviction of human traffickers so that they can be punished in accordance with the law, Subaih said.
The ministry is targeting employers who violate article 10 of the labor law, which indicates that an employer cannot recruit workers from outside, then fail to provide jobs for them, or it turns out that the company is not actually in need for their services, Subaih added.
The companies prosecuted will be questioned for failure to provide physical jobs for workers they recruit – a practice generally known as visa trafficking. Employers convicted for human trafficking face penalties ranging from 15 years to life in prison.
Subaih has launched extensive efforts against visa traffickers since she assumed her position in January. Since then, more than 2,500 companies were referred to the public prosecution on human trafficking charges or for violating labor regulations, compared to only 250 during the past few years.