Kuwait – Take Concrete Steps to end Suffering of Stateless Bidun
The government should consider the six point plan to end statelessness in Kuwait
30 January 2020 – Beirut / London
Organisations and activists working on the right to nationality and statelessness reject the assertion by a Kuwaiti government representative on 29 January 2020 that the country has no stateless population.
The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI), Salam for Democracy and Human Rights (Salam DHR), Rights Realization Centre (RRC), the Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (GIDHR) and a group of activists and academics working as an informal network on stateless issues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region urge the government of Kuwait to take bold, concrete action to promote and protect the right to a nationality in Kuwait.
Representatives of the Kuwaiti government spoke in the course of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a non-binding state-led review of other states’ human rights record, held on each state every four years at the United Nations in Geneva.
Representatives of 20 governments from Europe, Asia and the Americas, part of a larger group of government representatives, expressed concern and made recommendations regarding Kuwait’s citizenship laws and the stateless Bidun community, widely understood to be mainly indigenous inhabitants of the region. Many called on Kuwait to amend legislation to give women the right to confer nationality. At least two raised the right of education available to stateless Bidun while one, the United States of America, expressed concern over recent suicides of stateless Bidun.
The human rights organisations and informal network of activists urge the government of Kuwait to work with Kuwaiti civil society, its international partners, including the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR), the Human Rights Council and its bodies and members in order to create a fair, independent, non-punitive mechanism to which stateless Bidun can present claims for citizenship that can be assessed in accordance with international standards of due process. In line with international practice, such a process would have an equally independent review in the event of rejection. Those found not to be Kuwaiti citizens after the exhaustion of such a process which complies with international standards, should receive a legal status and protection in line with international human rights and humanitarian standards and principles.