Human rights in Kuwait

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Human rights in Kuwait derive from the 1961 Constitution of Kuwait as well as a series of international treaties.[1]


Kuwait is a party to several international human rights treaties, including[2]

Migrant workers[edit]

In June 2007, Kuwait was found to be one of the worst offenders in human trafficking according to a report issued by the United States Department of State. The finding was due to the Kuwait government's repeated failure to tackle the problem.

Some migrant workers are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude by employers in Kuwait. The workers were subject to physical and sexual abuse, non-payment of wages, threats, confinement to the home, and withholding of passports to restrict their freedom of movement.[3][4]


Main article: Bedoon

There are 100,000 Bedoon in Kuwait. The Bedoon are reportedly stateless people. The Kuwaiti government believes most Bidoon are foreign nationals from neighboring countries. Most of Kuwait's Bedoon are of Iraqi ancestry.[5][6][7] The Bedoon issue in Kuwait “overlaps with historic sensitivities about Iraqi influence inside Kuwait”.[8] During the 1980s, the Bidoon constituted 80-90% of the Kuwaiti Army.[9] Until 1990, the Bedoon accounted for 80% of the Kuwaiti Army.[10]

Kuwait considers the Bedoon illegal immigrants.[11] In May 2014, the Kuwaiti government discovered the true nationalities of 6,051 Bidoon, most were Saudi nationals hiding their passports.[12][13] Human rights organizations have criticized Kuwait for its handling of the issue.

Women's rights[edit]

Main article: Women in Kuwait

Kuwaiti women are considered to be among the most emancipated women in the Middle East region.[14] In 2011, Kuwait was ranked highest of all Middle East countries in gender equality in the Human Development Report's Gender Inequality Index.[14] In 2013, 46.7% of Kuwaiti women participated in the labor force.[15]

Children born to a Kuwaiti mother and non-Kuwaiti father do not get Kuwaiti citizenship, unless the father is dead or divorced with the Kuwaiti mother.[16] Muslim women in Kuwait are discriminated under the family law.

Media freedom[edit]

According to according to a 2009 report from the OpenNet Initiative, Kuwait is engaged in pervasive Internet filtering and selective filtering in security areas.[17] The primary target of Internet filtering is pornography and, to a lesser extent, gay and lesbian content.[17] The Kuwait Ministry of Communication regulates ISPs, making them block pornography and anti-security websites to "protect the public by maintaining both public order and morality".[18]

Voice over Internet Protocol is illegal in Kuwait.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Freedom in the World: Kuwait". Freedom House. 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Ratification of International Human Rights Treaties - Kuwait". University of Minnesota Human Rights Library. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "Trafficking in Persons Report 2007". U.S. Department of State. 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "2007: Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights". International Trade Union Confederation. 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Kuwait City Journal; The Bedoons: Outcasts in the Land They Served". In the last century, and more so in the early decades of this one, nomadic shepherds, most from Iraq but indifferent to national boundaries, settled in Kuwait. Because they were not rooted in the pursuits of the original families of Kuwait -- fishing, trading or pearl fishing -- they remained apart from the society that formed the modern state. These people became known as Bedoons, from the Arabic word for "without." 
  6. ^ Famous victory: the Gulf War. p. 187. 
  7. ^ "Stateless Bedoons Are Shut Out of Kuwait". The Christian Science Monitor. 
  8. ^ "Australian Government - Bedoon". p. 3. 
  9. ^ "Government of United Kingdom". p. 4. 
  10. ^ "Challenges of Security in Kuwait". p. 5. 
  11. ^ "BBC Talk Show about Bedoon (29:07)" (in Arabic). 
  12. ^ "الكويت : 4600 من «البدون» أظهروا جوازات سفرهم السعودية" (in Arabic). 
  13. ^ 6,051 illegal residents in Kuwait adjusted status by May
  14. ^ a b "Gender inequality". Retrieved 2015-02-19. 
  15. ^ "Kuwait on path to fulfill all MDGs by 2015 deadline". United Nations. p. 3. 
  16. ^ ?, ? (10 March 2014). Human rights watch. Kuwait City: ?. p. 2. 
  17. ^ a b ONI Country Profile: Kuwait", OpenNet Initiative, 6 August 2009
  18. ^ "Kuwait: State of the media", Menassat
  19. ^ "VOIP Policy and Regulation: Regional perspective", Professor Ibrahim Kadi, Communications and Information Technology Commission, presented at the regional seminar on Internet Protocol: VOIP, Algiers, Algeria, 12 March 2007

External links[edit]