The Bedoon situation in Kuwait

Bedoon, meaning “without nationality” in Arabic, is a stateless Arab minority in Kuwait who were not granted citizenship at the time of the country’s independence or shortly thereafter. The government currently labels Bedoon as “illegal residents,” despite many having no tangible connections to any country other than Kuwait, and notwithstanding decades of social discourse depicting Bedoon as intertwined with Kuwaiti territory.

Due to their stateless status, Bedoons encounter difficulties in obtaining civil documents, securing employment, and accessing healthcare, education, and other social services available to Kuwaiti citizens. Consequently, many live in relative poverty and are confined to working in the informal sector.

Therefore, it would be beneficial if the international community took action in support of the Bedoons, but it remains largely silent. This issue concerns the international community as it cannot be disregarded simply because it is occurring in a foreign country. Moreover, some Bedoons who fled Kuwait crossed borders illegally due to a lack of identification papers. While this is not their fault, these individuals enter countries without asylum applications and lack protection from any government, unable to be repatriated as they are not citizens of their home country. Consequently, European countries such as France and Great Britain are faced with Bedoons arriving in their territories without viable solutions to the problem. Hence, countries worldwide must denounce the situation and take action to protect Bedoons from Kuwait’s atrocities. The silence on this matter may be attributed to the economic relations Kuwait maintains with the rest of the world, particularly European countries heavily dependent on oil production. It seems countries are hesitant to denounce human rights abuses and align with protecting their relations with Kuwait.

Kuwait should take immediate action to resolve this situation by granting Bedoons Kuwaiti citizenship, protecting them from human rights abuses, and ceasing violations of their rights without delay.

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The Bedoon situation in Kuwait