|Regions with significant populations|
|Sulaibiyah,Al Jahra, Manama, Bahrain|
|Arabic, Persian language|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Iranians, Bedouin, Persian people|
Bidoon (Arabic: بدون bidoon, also transliterated bedoon al jinsiya) are stateless persons, from the Arabic bidūn jinsīyah (Arabic: بدون جنسية, without nationality). The term is used mostly in Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, and United Arab Emirates, where the stateless populations have been a problem. In Bahrain, the term "bedoun" is used to describe stateless descendants of Iranians (especially ethnic Persians), whereas in Kuwait the term "bedoun" is used to describe stateless descendants of tribal Arabs.
|Part of a series on|
|Human rights in Kuwait|
Freedom of religion
In Kuwait, some bidoon are people who did not fill in proper citizenship paperwork (perhaps due to illiteracy, parochialism or ignorance) prior to 1960, entered these nations, or settled in Kuwait since 1960 but are not citizens of the state in which they reside.
Some of Kuwait's bidoon are Persians of Iranian origin. Following the invasion by Iraqi forces into Kuwait, a third of the 300,000 stateless living in Kuwait before the invasion either fled to Iraq or produced evidence showing their true citizenship (mostly Iraqi, Saudi or Syrian). In the last few years, many organizations criticized Kuwait for its handling of the issue.
A significant portion of Kuwait's stateless were born there but are not authorized citizenship under Kuwaiti law. Some of these are stateless because their male ancestor did not file for citizenship in 1960 during the relatively brief time window allowed as Kuwait achieved independence. Given that the stateless are a significant part of the population of Kuwait, the issues of their civil, legal and social rights cause constant stress. Before 1990, the majority of stateless were migrants from Iraq, Syria and the northern Arabian Peninsula.
In 2011, Kuwaiti courts ruled that stateless people are allowed to be issued birth, marriage and death certificates. Prior to that time, bedoun were impeded in seeking education and employment by the lack of such documentation. In 1980s, the Kuwaiti government did issue some administrative documents to bedoun.
In the 1970s, one-third to one-half of the Kuwaiti Army was made up of Iraqi and Saudi tribesmen.
The Kuwaiti government has recently given bedouns many rights and worked on improving their overall standards of living and incorporation in the Kuwaiti society. These rights include:
• Free medical treatment
• Free public education
• Issuance of birth certificates
• Issuance of death certificates
• Issuance of divorce certificates
• Issuance of marriage documentation
• Issuance of inheritance & guardianship documentation
• Issuance of driver’s licenses
• Care for those with special needs and handicaps
In Bahrain, stateless people are denied the right to hold legal residency, are not allowed the right to travel abroad, buy houses, and to hold government jobs. Recently, the Bahraini government issued regulations preventing them from sending their children to public schools and to receive free medical care. Bedouns can also get deported at any time. Since the beginning of the 1980s, the Bahraini government has deported hundreds of bedouns to Iran.
In the United Arab Emirates, stateless people cannot get a drivers license, go to school, obtain a marriage licence, receive routine health services (they will be treated at hospitals), or legally work.
- 1995 HRW Report
- 2000 HRW Report
- Photos from Refugees International
- Refugees International recommendations for bidun reforms
- Article by Kuwaiti Bidoon Human Rights Organization
- Bidoon in U.S. Human Rights Report
- UNHCR on bidoon DNA testing
- Article in UAE's The National
- Comoros story from AFP
- An account from Hasan, a Kuwaiti bidoon
- Report by Refugees International
- Arabic and English bidoon chatroom
- Human Rights Watch
- البدون في الكويت
- Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Kuwait: Whether Bedoun residents who were included in the 1965 census are able to obtain citizenship; whether Bedoun residents can access healthcare, education and employment; information on Bedoun mobility rights, including whether an individual with a Bedoun card, who was registered in the 1965 census, but who left Kuwait illegally without a passport, is able to return to Kuwait, 20 February 2013, KWT104009.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5214914a4.html [accessed 13 November 2013]
- Iranians in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates: Migration, Minorities, and Identities in the Persian Gulf Arab States. Eric Andrew McCoy. 2008. p. 47-48.
- World Migration 2005 Costs and Benefits of International Migration. International Organization for Migration. 2005. p. 53.
- Fuchs, Martina (19 February 2011) "Kuwait police clash with hundreds of protesters", Reuters, archived here by WebCite
- Staff (3 March 2011) "March 8 Parliament session to discuss vital decisions" Al-Watan Daily Newspaper; archived here by WebCite
- Hamad, Aziz A. (1991) A Victory turned sour: human rights in Kuwait since liberation Middle East Watch, Human Rights Watch, New York, page 51, ISBN 1-56432-041-3
- Henckaerts, Jean-Marie (1995) Mass expulsion in modern international law and practice Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands, page 97, ISBN 90-411-0072-5
- The Bedoons of Kuwait: "citizens Without Citizenship". Human Rights Watch/Middle East. 1995. p. 42.
- "Kuwait’s ‘Stateless’ Class: A Ticking Time Bomb". Joelle El-Khoury. 2012.
- Kuwait's Nationality Law 15/1959 created a limited time during which individuals in Kuwait could apply for citizenship in 1960.
- Saeed, Ebtessam (3 March 2011) "Bedouns plan to rally for Amir" Al-Watan Daily Newspaper; archived here by WebCite
- Staff (6 October 2010) "Kuwait: Tough requirements of Bedoun students to be cancelled: MoE" Zawya (Dubai, UAE), archived here by WebCite
- "Mercenaries, Pirates, and Sovereigns: State-Building and Extraterritorial Violence in Early Modern Europe". Janice E.Thomson. 1996. p. 90.