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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings, day care and penal institutions.
Overview of the child rights situation

The report from Kuwait puts a strong focus on the welfare of Bidoon children, who enjoy free education as part of the state program, but otherwise live in poor conditions, without health care and often suffering from discrimination.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee expresses its concern that abortion is allowed only when the mother’s life is threatened and is criminalized in all other circumstances. Therefore, the Committee recommends that the State party review its legislation concerning abortion, with a view notably to guaranteeing the best interests of pregnant teenagers, and ensure by law and in practice that the views of the child always be heard and respected in abortion decisions.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee expresses concern that students of religious minorities enrolled in private schools, including in the licensed private Shia school, are not allowed to receive teaching of their religion during the time that Sunni Islam is being taught. The Committee is particularly concerned about the derogatory language contained in religious textbooks, such as the labelling of persons of other religions or beliefs as infidels, as well as the harassment and bullying of students during the teaching of these lessons.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee recommends that the State party adopt urgent measures to address the situation of Bidoon children with disabilities in terms of their right to have access to suitable health care, education and rehabilitation services depending on their particular disability. Kuwait should also develop a comprehensive national strategy to expand inclusive education in order for all children with disabilities to benefit from a quality inclusive education system, irrespective of their different capacities, and provide to all schools sufficient numbers of specialist teachers and professionals offering individual support and ensure that all professionals are adequately trained so that all children with disabilities can effectively enjoy their right to quality inclusive education. The Committee further recommends to adopt concrete measures to eliminate obstacles and barriers to indoor and outdoor facilities and undertake awareness-raising campaigns aimed at the government, the public and families to promote the positive image of children and adults with disabilities and their role as active participants in and contributors to society.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee welcomes the cooperation between the authorities of the State party and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and encourages the State party to continue and strengthen such cooperation. The Committee, however, regrets that the State party has not regularized the status of refugees and asylum seekers or enacted laws allowing their children to enjoy their rights under the Convention and its Optional Protocols.
Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
physical health

To guarantee every child the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee urges the State party to take immediate measures to ensure that all Bidoon children receive without delay all medical care and treatment required by their health condition.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee notes with concern the absence of a legislative framework to regulate mental care. In this context, the Committee is seriously concerned at reported cases of girls with no mental illness arbitrarily placed by their families in mental care institutions for indeterminate periods of time.
The Committee urges the State party to adopt without delay a law regulating mental care. It also urges the State party to ensure that girls arbitrarily placed in mental care be removed without delay from mental care institutions and that proper medical screening be systematically conducted before admitting girls to hospitals.

Impacts of climate change

The Committee expresses concern that children are generally not perceived as rights holders in Kuwaiti society and that their participation in the public sphere and their opportunity to have their voices heard in decision-making processes are absent at the policy level and insufficient at the family, school and institutional and community levels.

Business sector

The Committee notes as positive the adoption of the Private Sector Labour Code which prohibits the employment of children under the age of 15. The Committee is however concerned that, due to the marginalized situation of their families, Bidoon children drop out of school and work on the streets or as domestic workers.
The Committee urges the State party to address the root causes of poverty and of the economic exploitation of Bidoon children and ensure that families living in poverty receive financial support and free and accessible services and that their children do not drop out of school.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee urges the State party to refrain from lowering the age where deprivation of liberty can be imposed and to ensure that detention is used as a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible period of time, and that it is reviewed on a regular basis with a view to its withdrawal. Kuwait should also take immediate and concrete measures for all girls detained on the ground of “possible perversity” to be released without delay and review all laws that have permitted their detention; and ensure by law and in practice that children, both victims and accused, are provided with effective and adequate legal and other assistance at an early stage of the procedure and throughout the legal proceedings and that interpreters are provided for children who do not speak Arabic at all stages of the judicial process.

Specific observations

The Committee notes as positive the establishment in 2010 of the Central System to Resolve Illegal Resident Status, the issuance of birth certificates for some Bidoon children and the assurances given by the delegation that the situation of Bidoon families will be resolved in the next five years. The Committee is nevertheless deeply concerned about the persistent discrimination against Bidoon children, with a great proportion of them being deprived of their basic rights, in particular their rights to birth registration and access to health care, social services and education, and living in precarious conditions in the State party.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the second periodic report released on 29 October 2013.More information about education in Kuwait: https://borgenproject.org and

Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022