Training on identifying cases of forced labour of migrant workers in Kuwait supports government officials and company representatives to address an important challenge

Between 13-15 March 2023, the ILO organized a three-day training on forced labour and trafficking in persons for staff of the labour inspectorate, the labour relations department, the domestic workers department, the shelter (for victims of labour exploitation), and the international relations department of the Public Authority for Manpower. A separate workshop was held for companies, focussing on how tools available to help strengthen business’ ability to combat forced labour and trafficking in persons.

Strengthening the capacity of the labour investigators within the Public Authority of Manpower, who – alongside law enforcement officers – are often “frontline” officials - is instrumental in identifying forced labour. Labour investigators need to be able to recognize the first signs of a potential situation of forced labour when speaking with a migrant or domestic worker, or when alerted by a civil society organization or worker representative.

The training was divided into three inter-related blocks covering the concept, the indicators of forced labour and human trafficking, and remedial action against perpetrators. The final day also included reporting, while allowing participants from the various departments of PAM to discuss complementarity between their departments as well as collaboration within and with external actors.  

The training workshop was truly useful for us, giving us fresh perspectives on how to improve our tools in the field. The ILO is an important partner, and we look forward to continuous collaboration."

Khaled Al-Sabah, Foreign Relations Department, PAM.

Participants divided their time between plenary sessions and discussion time, complemented with group work that required teamwork and collaboration. The group work was based on handouts, tools, and training materials tailor-made for the context of Kuwait drawing from the ILO handbook entitled Forced labour and human trafficking: Handbook for labour inspectors, as well as other training materials developed by the ILO.
The final day of the workshop involved a discussion led by participants on the best ways they can collaborate and help each other combat forced labour and human trafficking.

PAM officials attending the training at UN House, Kuwait
A follow up one-day workshop for the private sector included 45 representatives from 26 companies and representatives of chambers of commerce, and covered ways in which companies can address potential risks to their business operations and supply chains

The workshop included short presentations to introduce participants to the definitions of forced labour and trafficking in persons and how this intersects with responsibilities under various ILO instruments and guidelines, including the ILO Tripartite Declaration concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration) and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). The training was intended to provide practical tools including tips and actions on developing company policies, measurable benchmarks, due diligence, and monitoring frameworks.

“The level of participation and engagement at the workshop was truly encouraging. Multiple and diverse sectors were represented, and participants shared best practices and potential solutions to common challenges,” Siham Nuseibeh, FAIRWAY Technical Officer, ILO Kuwait.

Company representatives at the training on forced labour and trafficking, Kuwait
The presentations were complemented with group work exercises and a hand-out containing a ‘Business checklist for assessing compliance against forced labour’, tailor-made for the context of Kuwait, but drawing on other ILO resources including the ‘Combating forced labour; Handbook for employers and business’ (2015) and ´Business responsibility on preventing and addressing forced labour in Malaysia’ (2019).