Kuwaitis coming home: Parliament grants 4000 'bidoon' citizenship
Kuwait is to grant citizenship to 4000 'bidoon' or stateless people residing in the country, after years of protests. (File photo)
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Kuwait is to grant citizenship to 4000 'bidoon' or stateless people residing in the country, AFP reported on Wednesday.
The move will happen this year and will resolve the problem of non-citizens in the country, law makers have said.
The decision by parliament will help a maximum of 4000 bidoons although campaigners had hoped to have at least that number recognized. It is thought that there are 106,000 stateless people in the oil-rich country. However, the Kuwait government have said only 34,000 are currently eligible for citizenship.
The Bidoons have long campaigned to become citizens, writing to U.S. President Barack Obama in October last year to plead their case.
In February, four members of Kuwait's parliament pushed for at least 1,500 bidoons to be recognized by the government.
The issue of stateless peoples in Kuwait has been a long running one.
In 1991 Human Rights Watch, the New York-based advocacy group, published a report saying that bidoons were not considered citizens by their government despite being born in Kuwait and living there their entire lives.
"Today, we have laid down a roadmap to resolve the crisis of bidoons" independent MP Khaled al-Adwah told parliament after the vote, before adding that many bidoons are suffering and being "deprived" of their rights.
43 members of parliament approved the law, while two abstained. There were no votes against. The final hurdle is for the emir, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, to sign off on the act.