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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century

State of Kuwait

Kuwait is a small, rich, relatively open economy with self-reported crude oil reserves of about 104 billion barrels - 8% of world reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 95% of export revenues, and 80% of government income. [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Kuwait. Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you. You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street. Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public and how they abuse each other. Would you like to write about market children? homeless children? Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc. There is a lot to the subject of Street Children. Scan other countries as well as this one. Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions. Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Child beggars thrive on Muslim holy season in Gulf states

Agence France-Presse AFP, Dubai, Oct 12, 2007

[accessed 10 June 2011]

[accessed 21 December 2016]

According to a study by the Imam Mohammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh published in the Saudi daily Okaz, more than 80,000 "street children" can be found at any one time in the six oil-rich Gulf Arab monarchies -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Human Rights Reports 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 9 February 2020]

CHILDREN - The government is generally committed to the rights and welfare of citizen children for whom education is free through the university level. Primary and secondary education are compulsory and universal. The Ministry of Planning estimated primary enrollment at 87 percent for the 2004-05 academic year. In the 2003-04 school year, 57 percent of children completed secondary school. Both boys and girls had equal access to the same quality of education.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 9 October 1998

[accessed 1 March 2011]

[25] The Committee is concerned at the recent increase in the number of children living and/or working on the streets, especially children of the Bedoon community. It recommends that all appropriate measures be taken to provide access to school to all children and prevent and combat school dropout. It also recommends the development of vocational training projects, as well as of adequate social programs.

Committee On Rights Of Child Continues Consideration Of Report Of Kuwait

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 29 September 1998

[accessed 10 June 2011]

Committee members raised further questions on street children and beggary; prison conditions for juvenile delinquents; rehabilitation of juvenile offenders; prohibition of child labor; protection of children from violent electronic media; landmines; and traditional practices prejudicial to children, among other things. In response to the additional questions, the delegation said that there was no practice of beggary in Kuwait.

Street Children--Long-time NEF Concern  - Major New Arab Initiative

The Near East Foundation, November 23, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 10 June 2011]

Kuwait's conservatively-estimated 120,000 street children are referred to as "Al-bedoun"--stateless.

Children's Rights

Human Rights Watch World Report 2001

[accessed 10 June 2011]

REFUGEE, IMMIGRANT, AND STATELESS CHILDREN - Children of longtime Bidun residents of Kuwait faced similar discrimination because their parents were considered stateless or otherwise unable to pass on their nationality under Kuwaiti law. Termed "illegal residents" despite their families' residence in Kuwait for decades, even generations, Bidun children were frequently denied birth certificates and other official documents needed to attend public and private schools or receive medical treatment.

Human Rights Developments

Human Rights Watch World Report 2001

[accessed 10 June 2011]

More than 100,000 long-term residents of Kuwait faced widespread and systematic discrimination, and tens of thousands more were prevented from returning to Kuwait.

Gap persists between principles of children's rights convention, daily violation of those rights, Brazil tells third committee

Press Release GA/SHC/3429 20th Meeting (PM) 30 October 1997

[accessed 10 June 2011]

THIRD COMMITTEE - 4 - PRESS RELEASE - Mansour Al-Omar (Kuwait) said the laws of his country protected children and provided for their care and he enumerated a number of national initiatives that had improved children's quality of life, such as the building of nurseries and kindergartens, health and immunization programs and mother- child programs. Also, education was gratis and compulsory through the intermediate level. However, he added, the children of Kuwait had suffered from the Iraqi occupation. They had been vulnerable and unable to tolerate the brutality of the occupiers. His Government was taking steps to help those children.

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