Annual Report: Kuwait 2011

May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Kuwait 2011

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  • In April, a court banned women from being hired as prosecutors, rejecting a petition by Shurouk Al-Failakawi, a law graduate, against the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, in which she sought appointment as a prosecutor. The case was referred for appeal.

Discrimination - the Bidun

In November, the government announced what it called a comprehensive plan to resolve the problems facing the Bidun community, indicating that many would be accorded Kuwaiti nationality although more than half would not and so would remain stateless. Thousands of Bidun long resident in Kuwait have continued to be denied Kuwaiti nationality and are currently stateless. As such, they are denied access to health, education, employment and social services on an equitable basis with Kuwaiti citizens.

Migrants' rights

Foreign migrant workers were inadequately protected by law and in practice, so continued to be exploited and abused by employers. Suicide rates among such workers were reported to be high.

New labour legislation relating largely to the private sector came into force on 20 February. It prohibits the employment of minors aged under 15 and requires that a public authority be established to oversee the recruitment and employment of foreign migrant workers.

Death penalty

At least two men and one woman were sentenced to death for murder. One death sentence was reported to have been commuted on appeal. No executions were reported.

  • In January, the death sentence against a Filipina domestic worker, Jakatia Pawa, was upheld by the Court of Cassation. She was sentenced to death in 2008 for the murder of her employer's 22-year-old daughter.

In December, Kuwait was one of the minority of states that voted against a UN General Assembly resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions.