The GCC states security in terms of Demographics, Foreign Labor, and Social Change

free essayThe GCC states consist of the countries that are found in the gulf region. The member countries that are under the cooperation include: Quatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. GCC stands for Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. The abbreviation can also be termed as the Gulf Cooperation Council. When it comes to matters of security, the Gulf Cooperation states have various issues that affect them. The issue of physical security is also a threat to the countries, just like any other countries in the world, but the states seem to face other security issues that hit them hard. GCC states should not consider security only in terms of terrorism or military threats, but also demographics, foreign labor, and social change. GCC security depends at least on productive employment, successful development, equitable income distribution and job creation.

Challenges

The GCC states have the lowest native participation in the world when it comes to labor force. Almost 45% of the world depends on foreign labor (Luciani et all. 2012). Also, there is a big difference in per capita income in different states. If this is not taken care of, population growth will still be a major problem through 2050, and with time, youth growth will cause big problems for job creation through at least 2030. The system of the GCC countries shows various external changes and international dynamics that might erode economic prosperity and social stability which are the system’s objectives (Legrenzi, 2015). GCC’s employment model has worked almost well over the past years, but with the high population growth that is linked to low labor force participation when it comes to women, it exposes a lot of vulnerabilities. Despite public productivity, budgetary constraints prevent various governments from giving the whole national workforce with the public-sector jobs, which is percieved by the nationals as a problem of the social contract. The challenges, therefore, need to be analyzed in order to develop appropriate solutions.

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Analysis

Despite the high population growth, the employment system still runs, however, it is susceptible and fragile to potential pressure. Some are materializing the ability of employment system to protect social stability which may be threatened if the welfare state becomes unable to provide for the abnormal youth bulge (Gulf, Asian Labor Ministers at 3rd Abu Dhabi Dialogue, 2014). The expectations and demands of a properly-informed and politically aware national citizenry need a rethinking of the social contract. The economic system is highly reluctant on a huge non-national workforce whose availability andstability of social integration are not known. Heavy reliance and easy access to generally cheap, non-national, low-skilled labor can continue to disincentivize investments in technology and result in a constant low productivity of private sectors (Alansari, 2013). Hence, employment system does not only build a high internal dependency of the youth on authorities, but also it becomes highly dependent on many factors that are beyond control. Some of these factors are: high gas and oil prices and the presence of a big non-national workforce.

GCC highly depend on the foreign labor force to maintain their exceedingly big economies compared to primitive population. The countries are new in the international political landscape and also lack competent and educated professionals to use the opportunities and cope with the challenges experienced by the natural resource economy (Dito, 2010). For example, apart from Saudi Arabia, the other five states gained their independence in 1971 and Oman in 1964. The insufficient local population, large oil wealth, stable political environment and relatively high labor compensation in the GCC have combined to open the door to the foreign workforce.

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In the Gulf countries many contract workers from Africa and Asia, including domestic workers, are subject to abuses, unpaid wages, forced labor, physical abuse and confiscation of passports. Due to this, the plight of migrants in the GCC requires profound and urgent reforms (Gulf, Asian Labor Ministers at 3rd Abu Dhabi Dialogue, 2014). Migrant workers feel intense financial pressure in supporting their families and paying huge debts that are incurred during recruitment. The labor recruitment agencies are poorly monitored in both origin and migrants’ countries, and in the Gulf States they overcharge migrant workers, fail to assist them in the case of workforce abuse or deceive them about their working condition.

In Qatar and Arabia, migrant workers are not allowed to leave the country without the permission of their employers. Their employers have to issue an exit permit for them to vacate the country (Kuwait Times, 2017). Some of these employers refuse to give the exit permits, pay their wages or return their passports so as to extract work from the migrant workers involuntarily.

When it comes to education, advancements have been made in the GCC education sector in the past few years. School enrollment and literacy rates have increased and are now at high levels. The average adult and youth literacy rates have exceeded 90 percent (Al Shayji, 2014).Over the past few decades the education sector has improved across the GCC states. There have been continual high investments and improvements. Improvement in education has become the main priority after the Arab Spring in the year 2011(Abraham, 2008). An increase in technology, preference of private schools and popularity of the International curriculum schools are trending in GCC education sector. The private schools offer quality education, especially those with the International curriculum.

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The GCC education sector has introduced new education projects, such as the e-learning, that attracts PPP and investors to the education sector. However, GCC faces challenges in the form of low tertiary enrollment rate, shortage of skilled teachers. Besides, the education quality does not meet most of the global standards (Binhuwaidin, 2015). These challenges have resulted in an imbalance between job market and skill imparted professionals. This mismatch is bridged by the government initiatives and increases focus via investments and reforms in the sector.

Recommendations

The Gulf region has six countries, which led to the creation of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). These countries are: the State of Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the State of Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Bahrain (“Change of Ownership at Idwala, South African GCC Producer”, 2009). The Council should unify six states on a range of economic and political issues to improve foreign labor. For GCC to provide proper security for foreign labor it should increase dialogue with the nongovernmental groups and trade unions, improve labor law protection and reform the law protection.

To solve the migrant issue, GCC should ensure that every migrant worker retains his or her passport, and they should enforce some new laws that would protect the workers from being abused by their employers (Hijazi, 2016). GCC states should join the various growing countries in the world that are extending the protection of their labor laws to the domestic workers such as a weekly day off, a minimal wage, social benefits and the rights to organize. The GCC should also consider establishing an organization which could coordinate policies on hiring the domestic workers that should involve government and recruitment agency representatives.

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In order to raise the education level, the GCC need to create more institutions to train teachers. This will help in teaching the students the skills they require to fit in the job market. Also, with the acquired skills, the youth self-employment will become possible, thus reducing the unemployment rate in the six states (Kostiner, 2010). Reducing the unemployment rate increases the economy of the country. Also, the GCC should try their best to improve the education sector so as they can meet most of the global standards. Once the global standards of education are met, the youth from the six countries can be employed in any part of the world. This will help to solve the issue of the growing population.

The GCC should promote the employment of nationals without affecting the undue costs of participating in a business that may erode competitiveness and reduce growth (Charfeddine& Khediri, 2016). The GCC should implement some new initiatives to give more impetus to job creation and the private-sector activity. There should be partial guarantees to lighten the access to credit for medium and small-sized businesses (Kostiner, 2010). To improve the appeal of working in private sector, the government can make public sector employment unattractive by reducing some of the supporting benefits, which make it a dominant employer for people in the GCC states, or reducing the high wages that come with it.

The GCC can increase some job opportunities through opening more teacher training institutions since most qualified people will join the institution and get the opportunity to be employed in the available schools. Also, this will reduce the rate of imigration of the labor force since the required job will be found within the GCC states (Pike, 2017). Another way they can create job opportunities is through reducing the rate of migration. The jobs offered to the immigrants can be offered to the unemployed people within the GCC states, and if they do not have the required skills, some training institutions can be opened for them.

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Conclusion

The GCC security can highly improve if all the challenges addressed and recommendations discussed in the study are taken into consideration. The GCC put more focus on military and terrorism security and, in one way or another, neglects the security of foreign labor, social change, and demographics (Pike, 2017). Foreign labor is essential to the development of the countries’ economic system. For this reason it is vital for the GCC to establish security measures aimed at protecting their citizens as well as expatriate workers in order to build an air of trust and safety amongst the people, whether indigenous or foreign. As a result, once the economic growth and development is boosted by the foreign investment and development sector, the countries will be able to invest in education improvement. The GCC would be able to build better educational facilities such as state universities, with a commendable educational system to provide good quality education for its students. An improvement in the economy of the GCC would also create additional jobs in the private sector produced by foreign establishments. The improvement would go a long way in mitigating the high unemployment rates.