11. (...) In the light of its general comment No. 5 (2003) on general measures of implementation of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Continue strengthening its unified data collection system and ensure that data collected on children’s rights cover all areas of the Convention, and are disaggregated by age, sex, disability, geographical location, ethnic and national origin and socioeconomic background, to facilitate analysis of the situation of children, in particular those in situations of vulnerability, including girls, children who do not possess Kuwaiti nationality and those who are stateless (bidoon) and children with disabilities;
17. Noting that children who do not possess Kuwaiti nationality and those who are stateless represent approximately half of the total number of children in the State party, the Committee remains extremely concerned that that group of children experience widespread discrimination in access to basic social services, including education and health care, and is also the target of hate speech. The Committee is very concerned about the persistence of discrimination against girls, both in law and in practice, in the State party, notably as codified in the Personal Status Act and in the Criminal Code (No. 16 of 1960), and concerning child marriage, protection from homicide, rape, abduction and access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, as well as the insufficient measures taken to prevent and eliminate gender-based discrimination.
18. Taking note of targets 5.1 and 10.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals, and recalling the commitments made by the State party in the context of the third cycle of the universal periodic review, the Committee reiterates its previous recommendations and urges the State party to implement the legal principles of nondiscrimination, as articulated in the Constitution as well as in article 3 of the Child Rights Act, including by:
(a) Repealing all laws and eliminating all practices that are discriminatory, paying special attention to the situation of girls and children who do not possess Kuwaiti nationality and those who are stateless, with a view to ensuring that all children can enjoy their rights, on an equal basis, under the Convention;
(b) Mobilizing communities and the public at large by undertaking systematic efforts, in collaboration with the mass media, social networks and community and religious leaders, to change discriminatory attitudes and practices towards girls, children who do not possess Kuwaiti nationality and those who are stateless, with a view to also combating hate speech against migrant and stateless children.
20. While noting the creation of student councils and parliament, the Committee is concerned about the extent to which conclusions and recommendations put forward by children are taken into consideration in decision-making processes. In the light of its general comment No. 12 (2009) on the right of the child to be heard, and recalling its previous recommendation, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure that the student councils and parliaments are composed of diverse representation of Kuwaiti society and in particular children from marginalized and disadvantaged communities, including girls, children with disabilities, children who do not possess Kuwaiti nationality and those who are stateless, and ensuring that the outcomes of children’s council and parliament sessions are systematically fed into public decision-making;
21. (...) (b) Statutory provisions permitting a Kuwaiti woman who is divorced or widowed to transmit her nationality to her child are not consistently applied in practice;
(c) Children born to migrant parents who are unmarried are summarily expelled from Kuwait within a month following their birth.
22. Taking note of target 16.9 of the Sustainable Development Goals and recalling its previous recommendation, 15 the Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Ensure the right of all children, without exception, to be registered at birth and acquire a nationality, establishing as a priority the situation of stateless children born outside health facilities;
(b) Set a clear time frame to review the Nationality Act to remove discriminatory provisions, with a view to ensuring that revisions are in line with the best interests of the child;
(c) Ensure that the best interests of the child are a primary consideration in all administrative and judicial proceedings involving the children of migrants, including expulsion proceedings;
(d) Review the draft legislation on nationality and citizenship presented by the Speaker of the National Assembly to facilitate the acquisition of nationality for children who would otherwise be stateless, regardless of their parents’ citizenship, residence, legal or marital status, with particular attention given to children who do not possess Kuwaiti nationality and those who are stateless, ensuring that it is in line with international human rights law;
(e) Seek technical assistance from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to reach a solution for stateless people, in line with international standards, and follow a procedure to end statelessness for that population, including children, on a case-by-case basis;
(f) Consider ratifying the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
27. In the light of its general comment No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence, and taking note of target 16.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Finalize and adopt the protocol being developed by the High Committee for the Protection of Children on the management of cases of the ill-treatment, neglect and exploitation of children, ensuring that it is inclusive of the special needs of children who are in situations of vulnerability, such as girls, children who do not possess Kuwaiti nationality and those who are stateless and children with disabilities;
33. While the Committee takes note of the provision of a monthly allowance for children with disabilities, it is concerned that children with disabilities who do not possess Kuwaiti nationality and those who are stateless are not included as beneficiaries of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (No. 8 of 2010). With reference to its general comment No. 9 (2006) on the rights of children with disabilities, the Committee recalls its previous recommendations22 and further recommends that the State party:
(a) Enable all children with disabilities living in the State party, including children with disabilities who do not possess Kuwaiti nationality and those who are stateless, to claim and have access to their rights without discrimination, in accordance with the human rights-based approach to disability, and protect them from all forms of disability-based discrimination;
34. Welcoming the 1,000+ Days initiative, focusing on the well-being of children from infancy to 4 years of age, the Committee, with reference to its general comment No. 15 (2013) on the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, and taking note of targets 3.2 and 3.8 of the Sustainable Development Goals, recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure effective access to the public health-care system for all children resident in Kuwait by removing the requirement for children who do not possess Kuwaiti nationality and those who are stateless to pay a service fee;
(b) Strengthen measures to reduce, among the non-national and stateless population, the rates of mortality among infants and children under 5 years of age resulting from preventable causes;
39. (...) (b) Ensure the implementation of Decrees No. 224 and No. 225 of 2014 and Decree No. 116 of 2016, issued by the Ministry of Education, to facilitate access to education for children who do not possess Kuwaiti nationality and those who are stateless.
41. The Committee has been informed that children, and disproportionately those who are stateless and migrants, continue to be engaged in the informal sector, often as domestic workers, and in exploitative conditions, some of whom are also subjected to trafficking. Taking note of target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, it recommends that the State party:
(a) Adequately resource the Department for Regulating the Recruitment of Domestic Workers to enable it to effectively carry out its mandate to monitor the recruitment processes in line with the Domestic Workers Act (No. 68 of 2015), and specifically its prohibition of the recruitment of domestic workers who are under 21 years of age;
(b) Strengthen inspection mechanisms in all places of employment, including in private homes, ensuring that the outcome of inspections noting contraventions of the law are referred directly to the public prosecutor, so as to prevent impunity and retaliation against children;
(c) Build the capacity of employers, workers and law enforcement authorities to identify children who are victims of exploitation or trafficking and to refer them to appropriate assistance and protection services;
(d) Conduct awareness-raising activities on the dangers of trafficking for parents, the community and children.
43. Recalling its previous concluding observations on the report of the State party submitted under article 8 of the Optional Protocol,26 the Committee recommends that the State party provide systematic training programmes on the provisions of the Optional Protocol for personnel responsible for the identification and referral of stateless children who may have been recruited or used in hostilities abroad, ensuring that they are provided with protection and assistance for their full physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration, and paying particular attention to children in marginalized and disadvantaged situations.