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1,349 kms from home
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3,774 kms from home
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Kuwait is host to a vast number of overseas contract workers from countries in South and South East Asia, including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Philippines, who are predominately employed in the construction sector and service industry. The single largest expatriate community in Kuwait is comprised of Indians who, according to the Report on the High Level Committee of the Indian Diaspora, account for almost 20 per cent of the total resident expatriate population. Currently, Egyptian nationals comprise the largest foreign Arab population. In recent years, women have represented an incrementally larger percentage of overseas contract workers in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries; according to local press, they may now constitute one third of Kuwait’s migrant population.

The Government of Kuwait has made considerable progress in labour mobility management, enhancing protection of migrants’ human rights and actively working to combat trafficking in persons. To this end, IOM has undertaken considerable initiative to foster enhanced dialogue between relevant government entities in Kuwait and in migrants’ countries of origin. In addition, IOM continues to avail of technical expertise in associated programmatic areas, including through a recent workshop on management of temporary contractual labour for government and civil society representatives.

Movement, Emergency and Post-crisis Migration Management


  • Various donors

IOM Kuwait has been involved in a variety of movement assistance projects including:

  • Evacuation of medical cases
  • Facilitation of voluntary return of Iraqis via Kuwait
  • Facilitation of evacuation of third countries’ nationals from Iraq via Kuwait
  • Logistic and travel support for beneficiaries of resettlement programmes in coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • Provision of urgent assistance to some foreign workers in Kuwait who are eligible to return voluntarily to their country of origin.

Regulating Migration

Building on a series of previous trainings, IOM will strengthen the capacity of relevant national Kuwait agencies tasked with the protection of victims of trafficking, including staff of the government-run shelter for foreign victims of trafficking and labour abuse.

Main Projects

  • Workshop on Counter-Trafficking Issues for the Judiciary Officials in Kuwait
  • Strengthening the Capacity of the Government of Kuwait to Provide Direct Assistance to Victims of Trafficking – Phase 1

Facilitating Migration

Following up on the success of training initiatives for government officials, IOM has supported advanced training for Kuwaiti and other labour officials from the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Main Projects

  • Supporting the Government of Kuwait’s Efforts to Safeguard the Rights of Temporary Contract Workers in Kuwait
  • Training of Trainers on the Protection of Temporary Contractual Labour in Kuwait
  • A Regional Workshop on: Management of Temporary Contractual Labour in the GCC

Last updated:
Main text: August 2010
Facts and figures: August 2014

International Organization for Migration (IOM)
P.O Box 63 89
22073 Salmiya

Tel: + 965 2 530 8000
Fax: + 965.2 539 93 54
Email: iereiqat@iom.int