Kuwait Issues - 2023


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Disputes - international

Kuwait-Iraq: no maritime boundary exists with Iraq in the Persian Gulf

Kuwait-Saudi Arabia: their maritime boundary was established in 2000 and has a neutral zone but its extension to Iran’s maritime boundary has not been negotiated


Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 92,000 (2022); note - Kuwait's 1959 Nationality Law defined citizens as persons who settled in the country before 1920 and who had maintained normal residence since then; one-third of the population, descendants of Bedouin tribes, missed the window of opportunity to register for nationality rights after Kuwait became independent in 1961 and were classified as bidun (meaning "without"); since the 1980s Kuwait's bidun have progressively lost their rights, including opportunities for employment and education, amid official claims that they are nationals of other countries who have destroyed their identification documents in hopes of gaining Kuwaiti citizenship; Kuwaiti authorities have delayed processing citizenship applications and labeled biduns as "illegal residents," denying them access to civil documentation, such as birth and marriage certificates

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Kuwait does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; officials reported disaggregated data for the first time, including data on a forced labor conviction and identification of male victims; Kuwait also implemented a program to increase oversight of foreign worker recruitment and provide greater protections to vulnerable migrants; however, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts compared to the previous year to expand its anti-trafficking capacity; there were fewer investigations of alleged trafficking crimes and significantly fewer convictions and prosecutions of traffickers; the government decreased funding for victims and domestic worker protection programs for the second consecutive year; no steps were taken to reform the visa sponsorship program that continued to leave migrant workers highly vulnerable to exploitation; some officials routinely used arbitration and administrative penalties rather than investigate cases as human trafficking crimes; the government did not regularly use standard procedures to proactively identify victims and refer them to protection services, and it continued to detain, prosecute, and deport potential trafficking victims; therefore, Kuwait was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2022)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit foreign victims in Kuwait; men and women migrate primarily from Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and other countries in South and Southeast Asia and the Middle East to work predominantly in the service, sanitation, construction, transportation, hospitality, and domestic service sectors; unskilled laborers and female domestic workers are especially vulnerable to forced labor and physical and sexual abuse; many labor-source countries, including Bhutan, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe continue to restrict female nationals from domestic employment in Kuwait due to the high risk they face; some visa sponsors subject migrants to forced labor and, to a much lesser extent, sex trafficking; Cuban nationals working in Kuwait may have been forced to work by the Cuban government; Kuwait’s sponsorship law restricts workers’ movements and penalizes them for leaving abusive workplaces; reports indicate some workers fleeing abusive employers are exploited in sex trafficking by recruiters or criminals (2022)

NOTE: The information regarding Kuwait on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Kuwait 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Kuwait 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.