Maat for Peace submitted an oral intervention to the Human Rights Council on adopting the outcome of review of Kuwait.
Ayman Okeil: Kuwait refuse to recognize stateless Bidoon population rather illegal residents
Today at its forty-fourth session in Geneva, the Human Rights Council held an interactive dialogue to adopt the outcome of the the universal periodic review of the State of Kuwait and Spain.
Kuwait received (302) recommendations, (230) recommendations were accepted, while the State of Kuwait took note of (12) Recommendation, and (6) partially supported, while 54 recommendations were rejected. However, Maat for Peace expresses
deep concern regarding Kuwait’s rejection to key recommendations on critically important human rights issues, including the right of Kuwaiti women to have equal rights with men to transmit citizenship and pass their nationality to their children.
Ayman Okeil, President Maat for Peace, regrets that Kuwait noted recommendation no.293.157; to solve the cases of statelessness Bidoon population and recognizing their right to acquire Kuwaiti nationality.
In return the government in a response fails to match the reality on the ground stating that there are no stateless persons in Kuwait, rather illegal residents, who entered the country illegally and then concealed their official documents to obtain Kuwaiti citizenship.
However, Kuwaiti authorities are still in their position not to grant citizenship to Bidoon children except on near-impossible conditions, and the process of granting citizenship to the Bidoon has continued to proceed very slowly, within the extreme difficulty of obtaining official documents or records and appropriate social services, in addition to restricting their rights to freedom of movement and peaceful assembly and freedom of opinion and expression.
Okeil added that during the review process, the State of Kuwait received 34 recommendations regarding the rights of migrant and domestic workers and urged the government of Kuwait to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; where foreign workers in Kuwait remain vulnerable to exploitation and abuse under the sponsorship system, which requires obtaining Permission from the employer to change the job or travel, and in this context, the Philippine government decided in 2018 to suspend the sending of Filipino workers to Kuwait, one day after the Philippine president announced that domestic workers suffered there from violations that led to the suicide of a number of them.
On the video statement, Maat for Peace urged Kuwait to remove all gender-discriminatory provisions from the Nationality law in order to guarantee that women can transmit their nationality in equal basis with men to their children and to provide full citizenship and rights for the Bidoon population.
It is worth mentioning that the State of Kuwait was subjected to review last January during the 35th session of the universal periodic review during which it was reviewed by (Kuwait, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Kiribati, Guinea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Spain, Lesotho, Kenya, Armenia, Guinea-Bissau, Sweden, Grenada, Guyana). However, given the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, other countries requested that the results of their review be postponed to the 45th session next September.