COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination
1. The Committee
considered the thirteenth and fourteenth periodic reports of Kuwait,
submitted in one document (CERD/C/299/Add.16 and CERD/C/299/Add.16/Corr.1),
at its 1325th and 1326th meetings (CERD/C/SR.
1325 - 1326), held on 15 and 16 March 1999. At its 1331st
meeting, held on 18 March 1999 (CERD/C/SR. 1331), it adopted the following
2. The Committee
welcomes the report of Kuwait and the opportunity to resume its dialogue
with the State party. The Committee notes with satisfaction the regularity
with which the State party has submitted its reports to the Committee.
The Committee also expresses its appreciation to the delegation of the
state party for the additional information that it provided to the Committee
orally and in writing.
B. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the Convention
3. The Committee acknowledges that, as a result of the invasion and
occupation of Kuwait by Iraq, the State party was subjected to serious
difficulties which still affected the capacity of the State party to
fully implement all of the provisions in the Convention. The Committee
recognises that some of these difficulties persist.
C. Positive aspects
4. The Committee
welcomes the steps taken by the State party in the granting of nationality
to a certain number of non-Kuwaitis. In particular, the Committee welcomes
the amendment to article 7 of the Nationality Act (Decree No. 15 of
1959), which provides that children of naturalised fathers born after
their father acquired Kuwaiti nationality are now regarded as being
of Kuwaiti origin. This provision also applies to those born after the
entry into force of that Act.
5. The Committee
welcomes the establishment of an Executive Committee on undocumented
persons in the country. It also notes with satisfaction the approval
by the Council of Ministers of Decree No. 60/1997 granting Kuwaiti nationality
to the children of martyrs classified as bidoon.
6. In connection
with articles 2 and 4 of the Convention, the Committee welcomes the
legislative proposal for the addition of two articles to the Penal Code
of Kuwait. The first of these prohibits incitement to racial discrimination
and the second stipulates that it is a punishable offence for public
officials not to respect racial equality.
7. The Committee
notes with appreciation the measures taken by the State party to protect
the rights of foreign workers in Kuwait. In particular, the Committee
welcomes the statement of the State party that it has ratified a large
number of international conventions adopted by the International Labour
Organization and the Arab Labour Organization with a view to protecting
8. In this
regard, the Committee also welcomes the establishment of a Department
of Domestic Labour Offices, as well as a Department to Regulate Recruitment
Agencies, to monitor the employment of foreign domestic servants and
to ensure that recruitment agencies act in a fair and just manner.
9. The Committee
welcomes the establishment of a Committee for the Defence of Human Rights
within the National Assembly, to monitor human rights issues in Kuwait.
D. Principal subjects of concern
10. While the
Committee acknowledges the proposed amendment made to the Penal Code
in connection with article 4 of the Convention, it notes with concern
that the Kuwaiti legislation is not in full compliance with the provisions
of this article.
11. The Committee
is still concerned about discriminatory measures in relation to vulnerable
groups of foreigners in particular, the treatment of foreign domestic
12. The Committee
is concerned by the fact that, in spite of efforts, the Government of
Kuwait has not until now found a solution to the problems of bidoons,
the majority of whom are still stateless.
13. With regard
to article 7 of the Convention, the Committee notes with concern the
insufficient training for law enforcement officials and other public
officials regarding the provisions of the Convention.
E. Suggestions and recommendations
14. The Committee
recommends that the State party revise the Penal Code in order to introduce
specific legislation to implement provisions of article 4 of the Convention
in accordance with the General Recommendations VIII and XV of the Committee.
15. The Committee
recommends that the State party improve administrative and legal measures
to guarantee the enjoyment by individuals belonging to vulnerable groups
of foreigners, notably the domestic workers, of the rights enshrined
in the Convention without any discrimination.
16. The Committee
recommends that the State party find a solution to the problems faced
by the bidoons and ensure the enjoyment of their rights without any
discrimination, in accordance with articles 2 and 5 of the Convention.
17. The Committee
recommends that the next report include information on the implementation
of article 6 of the Convention.
18. The Committee
suggests that the State party consider intensifying education and training
of law enforcement officials, in accordance with article 7 of the Convention
and General Recommendation XIII of the Committee.
19. The Committee
recommends that the State party ratify the amendments to article 8,
paragraph 6, of the Convention, adopted on 15 January 1992 at the Fourteenth
Meeting of States parties to the Convention.
20. It is noted
that the State party has not made the declaration provided for in article
14 of the Convention, and some members of the Committee requested that
the possibility of such a declaration be considered.
21. The Committee
recommends that the State party widely disseminate its report and these
22. The Committee
recommends that the next periodic report of the State party, due on
4 January 1998, be an updating report and address the suggestions and
recommendations adopted by the Committee.