Who represents non-Kuwaitis in National Assembly?

This question is a worthy one, as article 7 of Kuwait’s constitution says “justice, liberty and equality are the pillars of society,” while article 29 says “all people are equal in human dignity and in public rights and duties before the law, without distinction to race, origin, language or religion”. This calls for a serious stand by members of the National Assembly, who are chosen by the people to work according to the interests of Kuwait and its people. Article 100 of the constitution says “a member of the Assembly represents the entire nation and cares for the public interest.”

The annual report on human rights in Kuwait for 2018 issued by the Kuwait Human Rights Society said hatred is rising towards migrant laborers, and expressed worries about the rise of verbal discrimination to a point that it sometimes reaches contempt of workers and incites against them. Item 12 in this report, titled ‘notes and recommendation in regards to health care,’ indicates that “Kuwait should guarantee health care for all individuals who fall under its jurisdiction equally.”
Another report by the Kuwait Association of the Basic Evaluators for Human Rights (KABEHR) said in 2011 that despite what article 29 of the constitution says, Kuwait’s law is still devoid of any items that criminalize and punish racism and discrimination of all types.

Kuwait is a country with a just judiciary, and any non-Kuwaiti can demand their rights through it, but non-Kuwaitis are in need of what protects them from the negative repercussions resulting from economic and social procedures that are applied only on them. I do not exaggerate if I describe expat residents in Kuwait as a “minority” from the point of their very limited ability to participate in decisions that affect their social and economic lives, as there is no representation for them in any union or association regulated by Kuwaiti law.

Among the rules of wise governance is caring for the rights of the minority in any decision issued by anybody that issues legislative decisions. Many meetings of Arab parliaments, under the patronage of the United Nations, emphasize the importance of constitutional institutions and their role in instilling comprehensive governance and achieving social cohesiveness because representative institutions cannot work effectively and responsibly in absence of social harmony, while on the other hand social harmony cannot be fulfilled without representative governance. – Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Qabas

By Mohammad Hisham Hatahet