Statelessness in Kuwait: The Kuwaiti Bidoon community

Dear colleagues,

I invite you to opine on my community’s plight.

A stateless community in Kuwait, known as the Bidoon, has been subject to exclusion and exploitation for ethnic and sectarian reasons since 1959. A corrupt and rapacious kleptocracy has confiscated our lands, looted our resources, and curtailed our freedom by means of deceit and terror. The regime governs us against our will and coerces us into submission. We, by no means, accept to remain dictated by laws that we can neither vote nor protest.

We appeal the free people and states to support our cause.

A member of the stateless community in Kuwait

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Thanks Ahmad for reaching out. Thanks for enlightening us on the challenges of your community. Have you tried reaching out to your regional offices of UNHCR? They have a mandate to end statelessness by 2024 and it could be good to push them to address you issues.

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Dear Mustafa,

Thanks for your message. I have actually approached UNHCR Kuwait, but they refused to listen to me in the first place. The problem is they seem to support the government’s narrative that the Bidoon people are illegal residents and not stateless. One of the UNHCR’s staff told me openly “the Kuwaiti government pays our salaries, and we cannot spoil our relationship with them”. I understand there is a mandate to end statelessness, but the question is how fair the process of ending statelessness will be.

Thanks again,

Best regards,

Ahmad

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Dear Mustapha, I agree with you. I am doing a research on Stateless refugees in the Netherlands. I know very well the Bidoun group in Kuwait. You might have heard about the UNHCR #IBelong Campaign that was launched in November 2014 has excluded stateless Palestinian refugees. You might ask the UNHCR if “ Bidoun’ are also included in this Campaign? You can read about it here, in English and you can choose Arabic or any other language; https://www.unhcr.org/ibelong-campaign-to-end-statelessness.html?query=Ibelong

Please let me know what the UNHCR answer, you can reply to me in Arabic if you prefer, Good luck, Basema

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