Kuwait Local Time

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Kuwait mulls granting of citizenship to Bidoons

The Parliament has passed a bill granting citizenship for about 4000 foreigners, aiming to resolve the problem of stateless people in Kuwait.

Majority of those to be granted nationality are bidoons, commented MP Khaled Al Shulaimi.

A roadmap has been laid to resolve the crisis of deprived bidoons, but, for the law to get effective, it needs to be signed by the emir, MP Khaled Al-Adwah said.

Being home to an estimated 180,000 bidoons, Kuwait set up a committee in November 2010, promising rights to bidoon, such as identification papers and access to public edution. However, only about 16,000 citizenship applications have been approved over the past 20 years, say local reports.

The Human Rights Watch has urged the Kuwaiti authorities to follow through its promises to address citizenship claims of its stateless people. Punishing Bidoons for protesting when refusing to act on their citizenship claims shows little respect the government has for their rights, pointed out Joe Stork, Deputy Director Middle East at Humans Rights Watch.

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