Stateless in Kuwait

Attorney Fajer Ahmed

The issue of stateless people has been an ongoing topic for what seems to be like centuries in Kuwait, which unfortunately fades away sometimes. The discussion on stateless people (locally known as bedoons) in Kuwait returned prominently in the media last week after a man allegedly burned himself in front of the courts in protest against the living conditions of the bedoons in Kuwait. As a writer and a person interested in discussing human rights, I must say I am surprised I haven’t written about stateless people in Kuwait.

There are approximately 130,000 bedoons in Kuwait without nationality, access to education, housing and other benefits that Kuwaitis are entitled to. It is a very complex issue that the Kuwaiti government and various parliament members have been dealing with over the years. Many solutions were raised and discussed publicly in the parliament, yet there is no one simple solution. I know though that the Kuwaiti government has done a lot of human rights work internationally and locally, and I am sure that this topic will not be ignored.

I also know that there are no specific laws against the stateless in Kuwait, therefore I hope that we reach awareness in the future where people will treat them with the dignity and respect that they deserve, making sure that they have access to their constitutional rights under the constitution. Today I will be discussing basic human rights in Kuwait under the constitution, not only for the stateless but for people from all walks of life that inhabit this beautiful land called Kuwait.

The Kuwaiti constitution’s articles regarding freedoms and rights:
Article 7
Justice, freedom and equality are the pillars of society; and cooperation and compassion are the firm link binding all citizens.

Article 29
The people are peers in human dignity and have, in the eyes of the law, equal public rights and obligations. There shall be made no differentiation among them because of race, origin, language or religion.

Article 31
No person may be arrested, imprisoned, searched, have his residence restricted or be restrained in liberty of residence or of movement save in conformity with the provisions of the law.

No person shall be subjected to torture or to ignominious treatment.

By Attorney Fajer Ahmed

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