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Rights panel rejects ‘Sharia Amendment’
June 22, 2015, 10:03 am
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The Parliamentary Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee on Sunday approved the proposed amendments to the juvenile and financial controllers draft bills. Committee Chairman MP Mubarak Al-Harees explained the discussion on the Juvenile Bill was set after a series of meetings with representatives of the ministries of Interior, Social Affairs and Labor. He disclosed the amended bill will be referred to the Parliament to be included in its agenda for Tuesday’s session. He added the committee also approved the proposal to amend the Financial Controllers Bill which was referred to the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Committee on Sunday deliberated on the amendment of the National Commission for Human Rights Bill. Committee Rapporteur MP Hamoud Al-Hamdan confirmed that they agreed on granting members of the commission immunity in order to carry out their work in accordance with the human rights conventions. He added the committee rejected an amendment bill that mandates the commission to act in accordance with the Islamic Sharia. He explained many human rights organizations have not taken the Sharia aspects into account as there are laws allowing gay marriage, pregnancy out of wedlock and other practices that contravene the Islamic Sharia.

Moreover, the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee discussed the amendments to the Domestic Workers and Domestic Workers Recruitment Companies bills, which were approved by the Parliament last week in their first reading. MP Mansour Al-Zufairi confirmed the Parliament will finalize talks on the two bills in Tuesday’s session. He stressed the completion of these bills is an important step to fill the gaps, address problems, and guarantee balance between the rights and duties of both parties in the employment contract.

He believes this will improve the image of Kuwait in international labor organizations, which have called for changing the current system in a bid to protect the rights of workers and their employers. He added the establishment of closed joint-stock companies for the recruitment of domestic workers will be regarded as an achievement for the current Parliament due to the urgent need to regulate procedures for hiring these workers.

He also praised the amendments made by the Ministry of Interior; including the issuance of licenses for those engaged in the recruitment of foreign workers, stipulation of clear conditions for sponsors to terminate the service of a domestic worker without notice during the probationary period, requiring the recruitment office to take the worker back to his country, and the need to clearly stipulate the rights of domestic workers in the recruitment contract.

In another development, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim said it is not necessary to approve the Judiciary Independence Bill in the current legislative round. He clarified though that approval is possible before the parliamentary recess provided all the concerned parties reach an agreement.

He added the independence of the judiciary is a dream and an old demand, hoping the current Parliament will finalize the bill. Furthermore, MP Faisal Al-Shaye has submitted queries to Minister of Education and Higher Education Bader Al-Essa on the alleged sale of fake academic certificates involving some offices. He stated that in March 2014, he presented questions to the state minister for Cabinet Affairs on the non-accreditation of certificates acquired from some foreign universities.

He asked about the actions taken against the employees who obtained these certificates without taking study leave and measures taken to prevent the recurrence of such problems, as well as the habitual absences but he has not received any reply until now. He added several reports were published recently on the alleged sale of fake educational certificates by specialized offices, so he wants to know the steps taken in this regard. He then demanded for a copy of the investigation results, if any and plans to stop this illegal trade.

In another development, Public Utilities Committee Chairman MP Adel Al-Kharafi holds the government responsible for the delayed passage of the new municipality law. He said his committee recently organized workshops regarding the law and made amendments to Municipality Law Number 5/2005 but Minister of Communications and State Minister for Municipality Affairs Issa Al- Kandari on April 19 demanded for postponement of deliberations until the government submits its visions and proposals.

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