Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May 2016, 08:28 GMT

State of the World's Minorities 2007 - Kuwait

Publisher Minority Rights Group International
Publication Date 4 March 2007
Cite as Minority Rights Group International, State of the World's Minorities 2007 - Kuwait, 4 March 2007, available at: [accessed 25 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Pressure on the government from the National Assembly may improve the situation of 'Bidouns' (meaning 'without' in Arabic) in Kuwait, who number 100,000–120,000, or around 5 per cent of the population. Bidouns are Arabs who have long been resident in Kuwait but are denied citizenship rights as the Kuwaiti government maintains they are really Saudi or other nationals who seek citizenship to take advantage of generous Kuwaiti social benefits. Despite some improvements in 2005, notably provision of health care to the children of Bidouns, this minority still faces discrimination in employment, freedom of movement and education. In November 2006, a number of MPs attended a Bidoun rights forum hosted by the Kuwaiti Human Rights Society, where they urged the government to grant greater citizenship rights to Bidouns and indicated that formal parliamentary hearings on the issue were in the offing. The MPs were particularly concerned that Bidouns who have served in the Kuwaiti military, and the families of Bidoun soldiers who have died for Kuwait, are still denied basic rights of citizenship.

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