Kuwait Commission refutes discrimination claims

September 6, 2012

Kuwait’s Civil Service Commission (CSC) said that it remained committed to its policy of recruiting Kuwaiti nationals ahead of all other people in the public sector.

The CSC issued the statement after it was accused on social networking sites of refusing to employ stateless Arabs even though they have achieved outstanding scores at the university and passed the recruitment tests.

“We cannot recruit stateless Arabs [Bidoons] if Kuwaitis with the same qualifications have applied for the positions,” the CSC said, local Arabic daily Al Nahar reported on Monday. “The priority is given to Kuwaiti nationals as per our agreement with the central agency that addresses the status of those staying illegally in the country.”

According to the agreement, Bidoon applicants for a public sector position have to wait until there is an opening after Kuwaitis with similar qualifications are employed.

Al Nahar said that around 100 Bidoon young women have sent a complaint to Badr Al Hajraf, the education minister, about the refusal of the education ministry to accept them as teachers after they passed all the written and oral tests and the personal interviews in May.

The applicants who reportedly obtained their university degrees with honours submitted their papers in March after they heard that several ministries, including the ministry of education, had opened slots to recruit university-qualified Bidoons. They said that they were told after the series of tests that they would be employed as teachers starting the 2012-2013 academic year.

However, the applicants said that they did not receive their appointment papers and that they were told, upon inquiry at the education ministry that their recruitment process depended on the Civil Service Commission. The Commission in turn said that the responsibility was within the education ministry, they said.

In their complaint, the applicants called for a serious stance from the education ministry and the Civil Service Commission to settle their issue, stressing that the new school year would start within days.

Stateless Arabs living in Kuwait have been pressing for their recognition as citizens, but the authorities say that 71,000 of the 105,000 people who are considered stateless in fact hold the nationality of countries such as Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Earlier this year, the interior minister said that the 34,000 stateless people who qualified for citizenship fell under one of the four groups that included people in the police or army, people who were recorded in the 1965 population census, relatives of Kuwaiti nationals and children of Kuwaiti women divorced from foreign husbands.

Salah Al Fadhala, an official tasked with addressing the issue of people staying illegally in the country, in August said that 275 citizenship applications spanning the four groups would be submitted to the competent authorities.

“That was the third list since the beginning of the year and we are now working on the fourth batch of those who will be eligible for naturalisation,” he told Kuwait News Agency (Kuna). “The move is part of the roadmap to address the issue of those staying illegally in the country.” The first naturalisation list was submitted in February, followed by a second list in April, he said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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