After their late meetings in Kuwait, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has finally issued its report on the status of human rights and discrimination in Kuwait. Their report was focused on racism, religion discrimination, sexism, Bedoon, and migrants workers. The committee stayed in Kuwait from 13 February to 9 March 2012 and finally came out with recommendations for Kuwaiti authorities regarding the Bedoon issue. The recommendations referred to the denial of documentation, human rights, and citizenship for the Bedoon. This came in relevance to another article of the report that demanded Kuwait to grant women the right to pass citizenship to their children; something that has been seen as a factor in the expansion of statelessness. The report stated the following points regarding the Bedoon issue:
- The Committee is concerned with the situation of the Bidun (stateless persons), some of whom have lived in Kuwait for a long time, have a strong claim to nationality, have a genuine and effective link to the State or have served or serve in the police, army and other State institutions, as well as with the situation of children born in Kuwait to foreigners and stateless persons. While taking note that a Roadmap has been drawn up and that the Central Bureau for Illegal Residents will submit two lists of candidates for naturalization to the Cabinet, the Committee is concerned at the low rate of naturalizations and in particular by the situation of the unregistered Bidun who do not have security cards. The Committee is also concerned that not all Bidun enjoy some basic human rights such as the right to obtain civil documentation, as well as access to adequate social services, education, housing, property, business registration and employment. It is also concerned that they are not always able to return to Kuwait, in contravention of the right to freedom of movement. (arts. 2, 5, 6).
- In light of its general recommendation 30 (2004) on non-citizens, the Committee recommends that the State party implement the existing Roadmap and provide a just, humane and comprehensive solution to the situation of the Bidun, with respect for their dignity. The Joint Committee on the Granting of Kuwaiti Nationality should consider naturalizing the Bidun, in particular persons who have lived in Kuwait for a long time, can prove a genuine and effective link to the State, or have served or serve in the police, army and other State institutions, as well as children born in Kuwait of foreigners and stateless persons. The State party should consider providing residence permits and temporary legal status to non-citizens, including the unregistered Bidun who do not have security cards. The Committee recommends that the State party issue civil documents to all persons in its territory and provide access to adequate social services, education, housing, property, business registration and employment to the Bidun. It recommends that the State party ensure that the Bidun enjoy the right to freedom of movement and are able to return to Kuwait.
- The Committee is concerned that current legislation does not allow Kuwaiti women who marry foreigners to pass on their nationality to their children and spouses on an equal footing with Kuwaiti men. (arts. 2 and 5). Recalling its general recommendations 25 (2000) on gender-related dimensions of racial discrimination, 29 (2002) regarding descent and 30 (2004) on non-citizens, the Committee recommends that the State party enact amendments to the Nationality Act that would allow Kuwaiti women married to foreigners to pass on their nationality to their children and spouses on an equal footing with Kuwaiti men.
To read the full report, PDF