Kuwait outlines Bedoun grants
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 7: Over the past 28 years the number of illegal residents or the so-called Bedoun has gradually fallen from 220,000 to 85,000, a difference of about 135,000, according to a report issued the Central System for Remedying the Status of Illegal Residents (CSRSIR), reports Al-Rai daily.
The figures revealed by the Central Agency in its report, of which Al-Rai has a copy, said after a research and sorting out documents it highlighted 8 services and facilities provided by the State of Kuwait to illegal residents in line with the Council of Ministers Resolution No. 409 of 2011. The services include driving licenses, free treatment, free education, birth and death certificates, care for people with disabilities, ration card, employment opportunities, marriage and divorce contracts and legal documents.
In the area of education, the report stated that the State has ensured that education is provided to all who live on its land in coordination between the CSRSIR and the Ministry of Education – the children and grandchildren of Kuwaiti women married to Bedoun and children and grandchildren of Bedoun serving in the military, in addition to the children of employees of the Ministry of Education in public schools, where the number of those registered in public schools reached 13,682 students during 2018-2019.
With regard to the extraction of official documents, the report stated documents of all kinds is an inalienable right recognized by the state for all persons on its territory, and is one of the means by which the State protects the family. The report stated the ministries of Justice and Health issued more than 23,000 documents in 2018.
The report pointed out the CSRSIR coordinates with the concerned authorities in the State on the employment of Bedoun (males and females) in the public and private sectors according to available vacancies, and in accordance with the controls and conditions adopted by the agency, irrespective whether they are registered in the 1965 census or not and they include sons of Kuwaiti women, children of military personnel, and children of prisoners and martyrs.
The report revealed that the number of appointments in government agencies during 2018 was 324 employees, bringing the total to 2,066 people, and 549 were hired by the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiaries where they enjoy several benefits and advantages, such as housing or housing allowance, travel tickets, health insurance, transportation allowance, etc. The number of Bedoun appointed in cooperative societies is 739.
The report pointed out that the door was opened for the children of Kuwaiti women and children of military personnel who are illegal residents to join the Kuwaiti army following which 2,981 students were enrolled over the past six years.
The report pointed out that meetings are held between the President of the Central Agency and the Chairman and members of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry to approve and facilitate the appointment of Bedoun in the private sector.
According to the report, about 1,491 persons with disabilities who are illegal residents enjoy the services of the Supreme Council for Disabled Persons, according to the General Assembly Law and the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
According to the figures provided, the number of Bedoun inmates in care homes reached 211 in 2018. This is distributed between the Department of Juvenile Welfare, the Department of Elderly Care and the Department of Nursery.
Regarding the catering services, the report pointed out that the state allocates Bedoun monthly subsidized foodstuffs at nominal prices as its citizens through a ration card which determines the per capita share of the items listed as rice, sugar, vegetable oil, milk, baby milk, lentils, frozen chicken, tomato paste and the number of Bedoun beneficiaries was about 85,000 which cost the state about KD 18 million in 2018.
The report pointed out that the number of retirees registered in the Public Institute for Social Security (PIFSS) and those who have been paid pensions (army and police) reached 799 from the Ministry of Defense and 3 from the Ministry of Interior.
The report pointed out the number of sons and relatives of the deceased Bedoun who receive social insurance was 3,547 from the Ministry of Defense, 275 from the Ministry of Interior and 11 from the National Guard.
The report dealt with the technical and executive aspect of the CSRSIR, pointing out that the amendment of the status of illegal residents is through the issuance of nationality cards or residence in accordance with Article 24 of the Residence Act No. 17 of 1959, pointing to the number of those who changed their status since the establishment of the Central Agency in 2011 until April 30, 2019 was 14,042, of whom the situations of 8,710 have been rectified and, this is the proof that many of them have passports of their country of origin. The process is being followed up and 5,332 people have disclosed their original nationalities.
The source added this number is subject to increase as a result of checks done and efforts exerted by CSRSIR to identify the Bedoun, including parents, children and grandchildren.
Regarding the naturalization process, the report stressed that the CSRSIR is studying the files of some Bedoun to shortlist those who are eligible for the Kuwaiti citizenship, in accordance with the Kuwaiti Nationality Law No. 1959/15, and the approved roadmap and submitted to the Council of Ministers. Naturalization is a sovereign right of the State and the number of naturalized since 1992 until the end of 2018 has reached
approximately 17,285 illegal residents.
In a quick reference to some other services and facilities, the State has established a charitable fund for education that covers the expenses of education in all stages of education (from primary to secondary level), and the number of beneficiaries of the fund during the academic year 2018-2019 is approximately 15,448 students which cost the state KD 5.478 million, including tuition fees and the cost of books.
In addition, the Bedoun are admitted and enrolled for higher education at the Kuwait University and the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET). The number of male and female illegal residents during the academic year 20182019 was 1,265 in the Kuwait University, 588 in applied education and 408 in colleges and private universities.
On the treatment, the report said “illegal residents are treated as Kuwaitis in terms of fees and wages, in accordance with Ministerial Decree No. 86 of 2011, where the government provides full treatment for them.” This is in addition to the Ministry of Defense sending 112 cases abroad for treatment.
The report pointed to the issuance of driving licenses, as it confirmed that Bedoun are exempted from the conditions of granting driving licenses to nonKuwaitis, where a driver’s license is issued to all holders of a valid card after reaching the age of 18 years and after passing the oral and practical tests.
The report stated the General Traffic Department has issued and renewed 25,723 driving licenses and issued more than 1,861 new licences in 2018.
The report of the Central Agency stated that the number of Bedoun students enrolled in higher education (post-university) during 2018 was 141, and that the agency has assigned two of its staff to coordinate with Kuwait University for the process of accepting illegal residents for the current year.