Article 24 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights stipulates: “Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, color, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property or birth, the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his family, society and the State.”
Similarly, the Constitution of the State of Kuwait states that the country cares for the young and protects them from exploitation, moral neglect, physical and spiritual abuse.
This is in addition to the ratification of the international Convention on the Rights of the Child; but efforts are still limited and insufficient considering the prevalence of discrimination in many services offered to the child such as education.
Public schools admit only Kuwaiti students who are provided with free education; in addition to some other categories like the children of Kuwaitis married to non-Kuwaitis, children of other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals, children of diplomats, children of prisoners and non-Kuwaiti martyrs, children of workers in the Ministry of Education including teachers, children of faculty members at Kuwait University and the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET), and children of Bedoun military personnel.
The rest are deprived of the right to enroll their children in public schools, so they have no option but to resort to private schools which usually charge high fees. Moreover, law number 8/2010 on the rights of persons with disabilities restricts its application to certain categories.
Article Two of the law mentions Kuwaitis and children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis without taking into consideration the other categories. On the issue of violence against children, we noticed a number of legislative loopholes; and since Kuwait has approved the Child Protection Act, we are hoping for its immediate implementation to protect the child and grant him all his rights.
By Atyab Alshatti, Esq.
Email: lawyeratyabalshatti@gmail. com