Criteria and procedures for granting citizenship to bidoon through DNA testing [KWT31126.E]

No specific information on criteria and procedures for granting citizenship to bidoon through DNA testing could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. A counsellor at the Embassy of the State of Kuwait said she was unaware of such a programme (9 Feb. 1999). However, on 27 February 1996 Reuters reported on Kuwaiti government plans to use DNA tests to provide evidence on claims by bidoon of Kuwaiti kinship. In September 1998 the government announced that a programme for DNA testing had been established (Middle East International 18 Sept. 1998, 14; KSC Television 6 Sept. 1998; AFP 20 Sept. 1998). AFP reported that 400 samples had been sent to London for tests (ibid.), while the government was also reported as saying: "adopting DNA testing is a non-negotiable basis to assess the right of citizenship through a claim of kinship to a Kuwaiti mother, father or other relative" (Middle East International 18 Sept. 1998, 14; KSC Television 6 Sept. 1998). The government's statement about DNA testing was one of several other measures announced pertaining to Kuwaiti citizenship (ibid.).

During a 10 February 1999 telephone interview a Professor of Political Science at Kuwait University, who is also the Head of the Committee for the Defence of War Victims, stated that the government has provided few details of the programme. He said that "every now and then something appears in the press" but that nothing of substance had been announced. He added there have been reports that DNA testing had been used in "very limited cases, but to what extent is not clear." The professor stated that the DNA programme announced by the government was a "sort of pressure mechanism" that "looks like they're pushing to use." He explained that the government had encountered cases where false claims of Kuwaiti kinship had been made whereby some persons had claimed they had blood ties to Kuwaiti citizens, which were subsequently shown not to exist. As such, the intent of the DNA programme was to precisely resolve claims of blood ties.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Agence France Presse (AFP). 20 September 1998. "Kuwait Carries Out DNA Tests for Citizenship." (NEXIS)

Embassy of the State of Kuwait, Ottawa. 9 February 1999. Telephone interview with counsellor.

Kuwait KSC Television (KSC). 6 September 1998. "Kuwait Adopts DNA Tests For Assessing Right to Citizenship." (FBIS-NES-98-249 6 Sept. 1998/WNC)

Middle East International [London]. 18 September 1998. No. 583. Peter Fevilhearde. "DNA Testing for Kuwait's Bidun?"

Reuters. 27 February 1996. William Maclean. "Five Years On, Plight of Stateless Haunts Kuwait." (NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Electronic sources: IRB Databases, LEXIS/NEXIS, Internet, REFWORLD, World News Connection (WNC).

One non-documentary source contacted did not provide information on the requested subject.