In 2005, the nations of the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC), which consist of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, housed over 12 million international migrants. Employed mainly within the service and construction industries, these foreign workers have become a demographic majority in some GCC countries, creating an urgent need for more progressive immigration and equitable integration policies. This article provides an overview of migration to the region, situating it within the larger global emigration/immigration context. By focusing on the various stages of migration and the economic role played by migrants, the article argues for policies that protect the economic, social and political rights of labour migrants. It concludes with recommendations that consider conditions in both the GCC and migrants' countries of origin.
Demography, Identity and the Road to Equitable Policies
A Case in Education for the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries
Faryal Khan and Maricel Fernandez-Carag
This article presents a critical case analysis of gender parity in the Sultanate of Oman. By reviewing policy and practice pertaining to gender parity and gender equality in education in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC), specifically in the Sultanate of Oman, lessons and insights can be drawn to formulate strategies for promoting gender parity and equality that will inform an Education 2030 policy dialogue in relation to achieving the new targets for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focus on Goal 4—quality of education in the next 15 years. Specifically, the article attempts to answer: (1) What are the indicators of progress toward achieving Goal 5 on gender parity? (2) What are the strategies/policies adopted to achieve Goal 5? (3) What are the remaining challenges/obstacles to achieve Goal 5 on gender parity? (4) What are the recommendations to eliminate gender parity and the implications for gender equality reforms?
Expatriates, Stateless Peoples and the Politics of Citizenship
In this article I examine why Kuwait and other migrant-receiving countries in the Persian Gulf have failed to enfranchise migrant workers and their descendants through citizenship. I contend that the increasing exclusion of expatriate workers from these societies can be understood in comparison with the disenfranchisement of the stateless populations to which these governments are host. I argue that nationalist narratives that portray these groups as threatening to the host societies have been extremely significant in creating an atmosphere of increasing isolation and exclusion for both expatriates and stateless peoples. I conclude by examining what the Kuwaiti case tells us about how notions of membership and belonging develop and the significant role of historic and political circumstances in shaping these notions.