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Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC$
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Zahra Babar

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190608873

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190608873.001.0001

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Yemeni Irregular Migrants in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Implications of Large Scale Return

Yemeni Irregular Migrants in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Implications of Large Scale Return

An Analysis of Yemeni Migrants Returning from Saudi Arabia

Chapter:
(p.133) 7 Yemeni Irregular Migrants in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Implications of Large Scale Return
Source:
Arab Migrant Communities in the GCC
Author(s):

Harry Cook

Michael Newson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190608873.003.0007

In 2013, the Saudi government embarked on a nationwide strategy to restructure its labor market and its policies towards the recruitment of foreign workers. These changes are in line with the implementation of Saudi Arabia’s Nitaqat system which aims to better regulate foreign labor in the country and to reduce the number of irregular workers in the Kingdom. As a result of these changes in policy and implementation, there have been large-scale deportations of irregular workers—along with their family members, in some cases—from KSA beginning in mid-2013 and continuing up to the time of writing. Yemeni workers in KSA have been particularly hard hit by these policy changes due to the largely informal nature of labor migration flows that have existed between KSA and Yemen for the past few decades. This chapter explores the possible implications of the recent labor policy changes in KSA for Yemeni and host communities in KSA, as well as for returning workers, their families, and communities of origin in Yemen. The chapter concludes with several recommendations on how to effectively address the challenges these disruptions will cause and how to build new avenues to support the transnational linkages between Yemeni migrant workers in KSA and their communities in Yemen.

Keywords:   Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Migrant workers, Nitaqat, Labor policy, Irregular workers, Transnational

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