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Government Should Implement Legislation, Address Gaps in Protection for Victims

This month, after years of activism, Kuwaiti women’s rights activists won a new law establishing protections against domestic violence. The need for this law was underscored on September 9 when Fatima al-Ajmi, aged 35 and pregnant, was shot repeatedly…
The Kuwait city skyline is seen through the haze of a sand storm in Shuwaikh, Kuwait City.
News

87th Pre-Session

We write in advance of the 87th pre-session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and its review of Kuwait’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This submission proposes issues and questions that the Committee members may want…
News

Unwarranted Amid Health Risks, Global Travel Restrictions

    (Beirut) – People in immigration detention in Gulf countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid health risks and global travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Human…
A worker rests at his accommodation in Qadisiya labor camp, Saudi Arabia August 17, 2016.
News
Despite setbacks for women’s rights around the globe in 2017, some of the most exciting reforms and positive momentum emerged from the Middle East and North Africa. Tunisian women have new protections against violence. Migrant domestic workers in…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Migration Ban Increases Abuse Risk

(Beirut) – The Philippines’ new ban on Filipinos migrating to Kuwait for work is likely to increase abuses of workers who are forced to resort to unsafe and unregulated channels to enter the country, Human Rights Watch said today. Kuwait and the…
News
“If you want to go back [home], you have to pay back the money we spent to bring you here.” “Atiya Z.” (not her real name) and I were sitting under a veranda, shaded from the hot sun in Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital of Tanzania, when…
Employment visa from Oman in the passport of a former Tanzanian domestic worker. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Rape-marriage exoneration laws are relics of the colonial past. It's time to leave them there.

In recent weeks, the Tunisian, Jordanian, and Lebanese parliaments have repealed provisions in their penal codes that allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims. Provisions like these, largely colonial-era relics, remain on the books…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
Report
Summary The mayor said, “All thieves must be killed.” He said it was an order. −Witness to the execution of Fulgence Rukundo on December 6, 2016 Rwandan security forces summarily executed at least…
News
“Rashida,” from Kigamboni in Tanzania’s commercial capital of Dar es Salaam, said a recruiter promised her a job as a domestic worker for a family in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Instead, she wound up in a recruitment…
Illustration of a domestic worker exploited in Oman.
News

Video Shows Moment That Domestic Worker Screams for Help, Falls

Last week, a horrifying video of an Ethiopian domestic worker falling from what media reports say is the seventh floor of an apartment building in Kuwait went viral. The video appears to have been filmed by the worker’s employer inside the flat with the…
A female employer and her children are accompanied by their domestic worker, back right, as they walk through The Avenues, an indoor luxury shopping center in Kuwait City.
News
His Excellency Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kuwait City The State of Kuwait Your Excellency, I write to…
News

Guarantees Crucial Rights, but Gaps Remain

(Beirut) – Kuwaiti legislators’ adoption on June 24, 2015, of a new law giving domestic workers enforceable labor rights is a major breakthrough that should lead other Gulf states to take similar action. Kuwaiti authorities should rigorously carry out the…
A female employer and her children are accompanied by their domestic worker, back right, as they walk through The Avenues, an indoor luxury shopping center in Kuwait City.
News

Updated in December 2014

(Updates highlighted in bold) Background There have been some encouraging reforms in Kuwait since its last UPR in 2010. For example, in January 2013 a judicial decision granted women the right to apply for posts as prosecutors, allowing them to…
News

2013 brought many grim setbacks, yet there were still some important signs of progress

With the slaughter of civilians in Syria still horribly unrestrained, it is easy to be discouraged about human rights. There is, of course, every reason for outrage about Syria, and about the international community's narrow focus on peace talks, unlikely…
News

Gulf Countries Should Improve Laws, Ratify Treaty

(Beirut) – Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should bring their national laws on domestic workers up to the standards set by the International Labour Organization (ILO) Domestic Workers Convention. All six countries should ratify the…
News

Legal Advances in Two Dozen Countries Globally as New Treaty Enters Into Force

(Montevideo) – The Middle East depends heavily on domestic workers but trails other regions in adopting critical reforms to protect their rights, the International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and…