Human rights in Kuwait
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|Human rights in Kuwait|
Freedom of the press
Freedom of religion
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Politics and government of
Kuwait ranks in the middle on Reporters Without Borders and Freedom House rankings of the world's freest countries. The former organization named Kuwait the 78th freest country on its 2011-2012 Press Freedom Index, out of 179 rated countries. In 2011, Freedom House ranked the country as "Partly Free", criticizing the government's restrictions on criticism and the press and the lack of an independent judiciary, while praising the nation's academic freedom and its respect for the rights of religious minorities.
Kuwait is a party to several international human rights treaties, including
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
- Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery
- Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others
- United Nations Convention Against Torture
- Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour
- Convention concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour
- Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
- Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
- Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
- Convention against Discrimination in Education
Human Trafficking 
In June 2007, Kuwait became among the worst offenders in human trafficking according to a report issued by the United States Department of State. The inclusion was due to the Kuwait government's repeated failure to tackle the problem. Migrant workers were often subject to poor housing, severe beatings, confiscation of passports, and extremely long hours with little or no wages. Migrant workers were also placed under the sponsor system which puts them under the mercy of their employers restricting their movement which has been widely described as "modern day slavery".
Women's Rights 
In June 2007 the National Assembly of Kuwait unanimously passed a law to restrict the hours that women are allowed to work. The law bars women from working between 8:00 pm and 7:00 am with an exception for women working in the medical profession. Women are also prohibited from jobs that "contravene with public morals" such as prostitution.
In the mid and late 2000s Kuwait ranked 85th in the Reporters Without Borders world survey of the freedom of the press. According to the 2004 full report, Kuwait ranks among the most free countries in the Middle East for the press, but there is still widespread self-censorship of local press, and certain subjects are understood to be social taboo.
Internet freedom 
Kuwait is engaged in pervasive Internet filtering in the social and Internet tools areas and selective filtering in political and conflict/security areas according to a report from the OpenNet Initiative in June 2009.
The primary target of Internet filtering is pornography and, to a lesser extent, gay and lesbian content. Secular content and Web sites that are critical of Islam are also censored. Some Web sites that are related to religions other than Islam are blocked even though they are not necessarily critical of Islam.
The Kuwait Ministry of Communication regulates ISPs, forcing them to block pornography, anti-religion, anti-tradition, and anti-security websites to "protect the public by maintaining both public order and morality". Both private ISPs and the government take actions to filter the Internet.
The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) operates the Domain Name System in Kuwait and does not register domain names which are "injurious to public order or to public sensibilities or otherwise do not comply with the laws of Kuwait". Voice over Internet Protocol is illegal in Kuwait. Not only have many VoIP Web sites been blocked by the MOC, but expatriates have been deported for using or running VOIP services.
In response to several videos declared "offensive to Muslims", Kuwaiti authorities called for the blocking of YouTube and several Kuwaiti Members of Parliament called for stricter restrictions on online content.
Kuwaiti online activist Nasser Abul was detained from July to September 2011 following a series of tweets criticizing the Bahraini ruling family's crackdown on Arab Spring protesters. He was released following an outcry from international human rights organizations as well as the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of Kuwait's own National Assembly.
In 2012, Twitter user Nasser al-Ansary was sentenced to five years in jail for “defaming the emir of Kuwait”, and blogger Hamad al-Naqi was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment for tweets considered by a court to be insulting to Islam and to the rulers of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, leading Amnesty International to designate him a prisoner of conscience. In 2013, Twitter user Iyad al-Harbi was sentenced to two years in jail for “defaming the emir of Kuwait”
See also 
- "Freedom in the World: Kuwait". Freedom House. 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- "Press Freedom Index 2011/2012". Reporters Without Borders. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- "Ratification of International Human Rights Treaties - Kuwait". University of Minnesota Human Rights Library. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- "Trafficking in Persons Report 2007". U.S. Department of State. 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- "2007: Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights". International Trade Union Confederation. 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- "Kuwait bans women from working at night". Gulf News. 11 June 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- Reporters Without Borders: 2005 Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index accessed 8-8-2006
- Reporters Without Borders:Kuwait: Annual Report 2004
- ONI Country Profile: Kuwait", OpenNet Initiative, 6 August 2009
- "Kuwait: State of the media", Menassat
- "Middle East and North Africa: Kuwait", Media Sustainability Index, 2006
- "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Kuwait – 2007", Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 11 March 2008
- Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research web site
- "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
- "Ministry blocks call sites on web", Kuwait Times Online, 13 May 2007
- "Kuwait blocks YouTube", Jamie Etheridge, Kuwait Times, 22 September 2008
- "Kuwaiti MPs call for stricter net censorship", Dylan Bowman, Arabian Business, 29 September 2008
- "Urgent action (follow up) : Kuwait. Online activist Nasser Abul sentenced for tweeting.". Amnesty International. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "Kuwaiti Arrested for Tweeting About Protests". Amnesty International. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "Kuwait: Release Jailed Internet Scribes". Human Rights Watch. 13 July 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- Nihal Sharaf (19 September 2011). "Release Twitter activist Nasser Abul: Al-Duwaisan". The Arab Times. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "With Kuwait Twitter Arrests, the Emir’s Gloves Come Off". Al Akhbar.
- "Kuwait Court Gives 10 Years for Twitter 'Insults'". ABC News. Associated Press. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- "With Kuwait Twitter Arrests, the Emir’s Gloves Come Off". Al Akhbar.