Kuwait denies school registration for Bedoon children

[From a recent protest for Bedoon right to education]

As the ministry of education and the Central Agency for Illegal residents put the blame on each other, many Bedoon children are sitting at home denied the right to education simply because they do not have birth certificates. Kuwait has been denying Bedoon their right to birth certificates in an attempt to make living conditions and legal procedures harder for Bedoon and thus push them to leave or “reveal” their real identities as the authorities claim regularly.

Lately, Kuwaitis and Bedoon protested for the sake of top Bedoon students to get into Kuwait University and higher orders came to grant them 100 seats (without the right to choose their majors). Moreover, those 100 didn’t all start their school year yet as some of them wait for the spring semester. Those among the top students who do not have the bedoon ID were excluded from applying to those 100 seats despite their top performance. The way Kuwaiti authorities target Bedoon and make sure they are denied education shows a policy that targets this community in its deepest point; an attempt to have a more ignorant generation and thus an apolitical generation.

The late policy that denied bedoon children their school registration has angered many Bedoon and several sit-ins are being organized. Kuwaiti hospitals give Bedoon parents a report of having a new children that can be used to get birth certificates but of course Kuwait’s interior ministry has been denying this crucial document to many Bedoon children. Authorities are only concerned about winning more time to reach a point where Kuwait has a whole generation of Bedoon that have no existence within the official system, unlike their parents and grandparents.

The ministry of education was supposed to have a meeting to solve the issue of denying school registration for Bedoon but the meeting was postponed. Moreover, those who meet the requirements are being denied registration in many private schools that claim “we are overloaded in numbers” as Al-Kuwaitiah newspaper has reported. It is believed that there are more than 1000 of those children who are denied school registration are actually children of Kuwaiti women.

To raise awareness about this issue, Bedoon have decided to take their protests from Jahraa to places like the Central Agency, the interior ministry, and the office of the United Nation. Unfortunately, so far, international NGOs haven’t made any comments on Kuwait’s violation of Bedoon’s right to education.

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