ADHRB Raises Women Rights and Statelessness During Kuwait’s UPR at the Human Rights Council

On 17 July 2020, ADHRB has delivered an oral intervention at the United Nation Human Rights Council session 44 during Kuwait UPR.

Thank you Mr. Vice President,

We would like to use this opportunity to inform the council on the following human rights situations in Kuwait:

The Kuwaiti government stated in their national report the following and I quote “Women in Kuwait receive the attention and care they need to support their role in society and the family as well as protection for their social, economic and political rights”.

Our question to the Kuwaiti Delegation is: Why are thousands of Kuwaiti women prohibited by domestic laws to pass their Kuwaiti citizenship to their children if they are married to non-Kuwaitis? In other words, the Kuwaiti nationality law discriminates against women, preventing them from passing on their nationality to their children and spouses on an equal basis with men.  It leaves the family unable to access state services such as health and education, and gender discrimination in nationality laws is one of the primary causes of statelessness in the region, in addition to other human rights violations.

Another serious concern we would like to raise here is the ongoing human rights violations against the Bidoon population, who have been stateless since the independence of Kuwait. BIdoon in Kuwait have no serious protection under the law and they are treated as the lowest class in the country. For many years, the BIdoon have tried to claim citizenship and to put an end to the systemic discrimination against them because they do not have access to employment, housing, social services and other rights. Many young Bidoon have been arrested and subjected to torture and ill treatment at the hand of the Kuwaiti security forces because they protested against the institutional discrimination against them.

While claims for citizenship should be assessed by Kuwait, Kuwait should also take steps to ensure that the basic rights of its stateless population are respected.

We call upon the Council to specifically address the human rights violations against Kuwaiti women, who cannot transfer their nationality to their children if married to non-Kuwaiti men and the systemic discrimination against the stateless Bidoon in Kuwait.

Thank you