Kuwait’s plan to pawn off its ‘stateless’

Published: 26/Mar/2015
Source: Human Rights Watch

What to do with the Bidun, the one hundred thousand plus people that the Kuwait government claims are “illegal residents” and considers stateless? Now, it seems, Kuwait’s rulers have come up with a solution to the “problem” of the Bidun, whose lack of citizenship rights despite historic ties to the country has frequently led to international criticism. Put simply, the idea seems to be to pay other countries to accord them rights that Kuwait itself will not.

The first public mention of this new tack came last May, when an Interior Ministry official announced in a TV interview that Kuwait was negotiating with other countries to naturalize Kuwait’s stateless people in exchange for economic benefits. In November, media coverage suggested that the government aimed to strike a deal with the Comoros, an island republic in the Indian Ocean. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) had struck a similar deal with the Comoros years earlier.

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Themes: Statelessness
Regions: East Africa, Comoros
Year: 2015