Kuwait considered under the UPR: majority of recommendations considered already implemented
Monday, 14 June 2010 13:35

With a delegation of approximately two dozen members representing all government ministries, Kuwait underwent its review by the Working Group on the UPR on the morning of 12 May 2010. The delegation was headed by Mr Mohamad M. Al-Affasi, Minister of Social Affairs and Labour.


The speakers list was comprised mostly of friendly States who widely commended Kuwait for its human rights record and success in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Concern was raised by some States over the rights of women, children and foreign workers, particularly domestic workers. States also called attention to the status of so-called bidun jinsiya, or stateless people of regional Bedouin tribes who do not have citizenship. Recommendations made in these areas and others include the following:


  • Issue a standing invitation to all human rights special procedures and intensify collaboration with human rights mechanisms, including by submitting overdue reports to treaty bodies
  • Accede to international conventions and optional protocol to which Kuwait is not yet a party, including the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Optional Protocol, the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the Convention and Optional Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. The State delegation noted that it was in the process of acceding to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Withdraw the many reservations to human rights treaties to which Kuwait is a party, particularly the Convention Against Torture
  • Ensure full compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, including by developing a national action plan for gender equality and repealing discriminatory laws such as the Nationality Act and the Personal Status Act
  • Set up a national human rights institution in line with the Paris Principles
  • Establish family courts to deal with family disputes, as well as centres for protection of victims of domestic violence; implement measures to penalise violence against women in all its forms, including domestic violence and marital rape
  • Decriminalise same sex relationships between consenting adults
  • Continue work to combat human trafficking and take steps to support victims; and extend an invitation to the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons
  • Continue de facto moratorium on capital punishment (in place since 2007), moving toward the abolition of the death penalty
  • Grant residency to bidun individuals, issue documents to them, ensure access to health and education services, and ensure equal rights in marriage, housing and residency
  • Include domestic workers in draft labour law, and guarantee rights such as limits to working hours, a weekly rest day, fair wages, medical coverage and the right for a worker to seek employment elsewhere without the permission of her current employer; duly investigate and prosecute domestic worker abuse, and require employers to leave domestic workers’ passports in the possession of the workers themselves.


More than a dozen States were still left on the speaker’s list when the dialogue ended. Kuwait accepted 114 recommendations and considered that they had already been implemented. It rejected 19 recommendations as running counter to Shariah law, and said that it would consider six recommendations and provide answers to another 20 in due course.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 07:49
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