Kuwaiti authorities continue to use provisions in the constitution, the national security law, and other legislation to restrict free speech, stifle political dissent, and prosecute dissidents. Moreover, journalists, politicians, and activists have been punished for criticizing the emir, the government, religion, and rulers of neighboring countries in blogs or on social media platforms. Despite recent reforms, migrant workers do not have adequate legal protections, in part because of the kafala system, which does not allow them to leave or change employers without their employer’s consent, and they remain vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, forced labor, and deportation for minor infractions. The government has yet to ensure a transparent and fair process to address the citizenship concerns for the Bidun, a community of between 88,000 to 106,000 stateless people who claim Kuwaiti nationality and remain in legal limbo.

Kuwait country map