Kuwait is to conduct DNA tests on 35,000 stateless residents, or ‘bidoons’, as part of naturalisation procedures by government officials, it was reported on Wednesday.
The Central Agency for Illegal Residents transferred 35,000 files on stateless bidoon residents to the Criminal Evidence General Department and the residents will be called for DNA tests to confirm their paternity, the Kuwait Times newspaper reported.
The department is expected to process up to 200 cases a day.
Kuwait is reported to have around 105,000 stateless individuals living in the country, who claim they have the right to Kuwaiti nationality despite their ancestors not previously applying for citizenship in the nation, which gained independence from the British in 1961.
Thousands of individuals took to the streets in Kuwait City early this year in protest against their lack of rights, demanding citizenship and access to state services.
Kuwait’s news agency KUNA said in May that 1,302 stateless residents had adjusted their residency status in the last four months, reverting back to their original nationalities.
This step reportedly entitles individuals to a free residency visa for them and their families for five years, but still excludes them from receiving the benefits given to Kuwaiti nationals.