Blood bag fees tip of the iceberg for expats

Atyab Al-Shatti

The issue of imposing fees on residents of Kuwait for blood bags has sparked a debate about the treatment of expatriates in the country. While it is true that every country has the right to regulate its service sectors, this move is viewed by some as racial discrimination against expatriates, who are denied basic civil and human rights in Kuwait.

Actually, the roots of this complication do not lie in spending a few dinars for blood bags. The cost of life of residents of Kuwait does not depend on blood bags, and their expenses vary between housing, food and drink, rent, installments and financial costs that have made their lives more like those who live in their actual “country of origin”.

The real dilemma lies in the fact that the laws of Kuwait do not recognize civilized concepts that govern all legal and financial aspects of expatriates in Kuwait. The expatriate, no matter how many years of his life he has spent in Kuwait, will never have the right to become a citizen or at least obtain permanent residency in this country.

Regardless of him spending his whole life, career, sweat and blood, youth, time and energy earning his own bread and butter in this country, he shall never have the right to dream of being a citizen. For this I believe blood bag fees are no longer the biggest dilemma, as an expatriate will not be considered part of this state in which he spends his lifetime in.

The real problem lies in the fact that Kuwait does not recognize the concept of citizenship or permanent residency for expatriates. Despite living, working and contributing to the country for years, they are still considered foreigners without any rights or privileges. This lack of recognition extends to refugees and migrant workers as well, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

It is unfortunate that Kuwait has not ratified or signed the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers, which would have provided a framework for protecting the rights of expatriates. This highlights the need for Kuwait to review its laws and policies to ensure all residents are treated fairly and with dignity.

If there was a glimmer of hope for expatriates, even just a little, that would be in the possibility of their children becoming Kuwaiti citizens. However, even this is not guaranteed, as Kuwait does not recognize the affiliation of residents to the country over time. This creates a sense of insecurity and instability for expatriates, who are unsure of their future and the future of their children.

In conclusion, the issue of blood bag fees is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the treatment of expatriates in Kuwait. The lack of recognition of their rights and status as residents of the country is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Kuwait must take steps to ensure that all residents are treated fairly and equally, regardless of their nationality or status. Only then can the country truly be a home for all who live and work in it.

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