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Kuwait and UNDP highlight Human Rights Day
December 16, 2017, 5:02 pm

Human Rights Day this year marks the beginning of a year-long celebration of the seven decades since adoption of one of the deepest and most influential international agreements, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration, which established the principles of equality and dignity for everyone, stipulates that every Government has a fundamental duty to enable people to enjoy all their inalienable rights and freedoms.

“Over the past 12 months, we have witnessed a number of historic achievements in international development, in which the international community has affirmed its determination to live through solidarity and support in line with the Universal Declaration,” said Zeinab Rouimi Benjelloun, the resident coordinator for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kuwait. She added, “It is necessary to reflect on these achievements and our long-term commitment to the protection and promotion of these universal rights.”

In line with Kuwait’s principles of foreign policy that promote the work of humanitarian values and provide assistance to those who need them, the country offers many good examples of respect for human rights in the regions, said the resident coordinator. The hosting of three Syrian donor conferences in Kuwait, and support for the fourth donor conference in London, resulted in pledges of more than US$10 billion in support of the humanitarian situation in Syria and neighboring countries. In addition, in recent years, Kuwait has also taken a number of measures to promote human rights through legislation and laws that contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights within the country.

Among these measures is Law No. 109 of 2013 that established the General Authority for Manpower, which is tasked with the issuance of regulations and rules guaranteeing the rights of expatriate workers, including through the establishment of temporary shelter for employees with the aim of providing full protection and care for them.

Among other measures, the National Assembly enacted legislation to regulate family affairs in Kuwaiti courts, through Law No. 12 of 2015, which contains 17 articles that would eliminate obstacles and impediments to Kuwaiti women in exercising their legitimate and financial rights.

Kuwait's commitment to the promotion of human rights, including women's rights, also remains clear through a number of development projects and initiatives taken by the government in this area. One such program is the National Cooperation Program which aims to support Kuwait in implementing the Fifth UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG5), Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality. The program brings together the Supreme Council for Planning and Development and UNDP, along with the Research Center and Women Studies of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Kuwait University.

The project launched a number of activities inside and outside Kuwait University, including a two-week long campaign this year from 25 November to 10 December against gender-based violence. The 25 November (World Day to Combat Violence against Women) and 10 December (World Human Rights Day) emphasize the links between ending violence against women and human rights values.

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