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Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review

For use of information media; not an official record

Date: Wednesday 12 May (Morning)

Country under review: KUWAIT

  1. Documents: national report (A/HRC/WG.6/8/KWT/1), compilation of UN information (A/HRC/WG.6/8/KWT/2), summary of stakeholders’ information (A/HRC/WG.6/8/KWT/3)
  2. Troika: Hungary, Indonesia, Madagascar

Concerned country - national report

  1. Represented by a 38-member delegation and headed by H.E. Dr. Mohamad M. Al-Affasi, Minister of Social Affairs and Labour
  2. National report presented by the head of delegation

Highlights

  1. Human rights enshrined in Constitution, with no possible amendment except for improvement.
  2. 2005 Law granting women political rights. Four women in Parliament since 2009.
  3. Law to protect workers in private sector and providing equality, minimum wages, freedom to unionize and to change employer after three years of work.
  4. No specific law for domestic labor, but assistance (refuges) provided.
  5. Law on the rights of people with disabilities, including illegal residents.
  6. Draft law to combat human trafficking, with life imprisonment for convicted and protection and assistance for victims.
  7. Expected law on protection of children against violence and exploitation.
  8. Human rights culture promoted among students, military, security forces and civil servants.
  9. State Development’s Plan through end 2014.
  10. Challenge posed by illegal residents.

Interactive discussion

Number of States taking part in the discussion

  1. Member States: 24
  2. Observer States: 29

Positive achievements

  1. De facto moratorium on executions.
  2. Right to vote and to run for elections extended to women.
  3. Increased employment opportunities for women, including in the police corps.
  4. Revised labor law enhancing the rights of the workers.
  5. Extensive social welfare services.
  6. High level of ratification of human rights treaties.
  7. 1.3% of GDP allocated to humanitarian assistance.

Issues and questions raised

  1. Violence against women and children.
  2. Trafficking in persons.
  3. Discrimination against women.
  4. Domestic and migrant workers.
  5. Stateless “Bidoons”.
  6. Protection and promotion of religious freedom.
  7. Death sentences.

Recommendations

  1. Enact a comprehensive law criminalizing trafficking in persons.
  2. Investigate and prosecute all cases of abuses against domestic workers.
  3. Strengthen measures to combat discrimination and violence against women.
  4. Establish a moratorium on death penalty with a view to abolish it.
  5. Enhance rights and protection of children. Ensure registration at birth.
  6. Amend laws and take actions to fully realize equal rights of women and take further steps to enhance participation in political, economical and judicial arenas.
  7. Take steps to tackle discrimination against migrant workers and ensure their full rights and protection. Revoke current sponsorship system.
  8. Take legislative measures to prohibit and punish forced labour.
  9. Uphold rights of “Bidoons”, including access to nationality and social services.
  10. Prohibit corporal punishment.
  11. Decriminalize same sex relations between consenting adults.
  12. Ratify the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, the Optional Protocol to Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the Optional Protocol to Convention Against Torture.

Response of the concerned country

  1. Death penalty – In case of serious crimes and only after rigorous due process. Cannot be applied to persons under 18 or women who have given birth.
  2. Violence against women and children – Prohibited by law and punished. Measures to protect women against violence and increase participation in politics.
  3. Torture and corporal punishment – Prohibited by law.
  4. Irregular residents and domestic workers – New law to be shortly implemented that guarantees non-discrimination and ensures respect for basic human rights. Complaints procedure established.
  5. “Bidoons” – Illegal residents have access to health care, education, labour market and tribunals. Freedom of expression, movement and religion. All official documents provided (ID, driving license, etc.). 7300 granted nationality last year.

Adoption of the report by the UPR working group scheduled on
Friday 14 May, as from 15:00

More information

  1. UPR: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRmain.aspx
  2. Country under review (documents submitted): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/PAGES/KWSession8.aspx

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