Kuwait is a constitutional, hereditary emirate ruled by the Al Sabah family. While there is also a democratically elected parliament, the emir holds ultimate authority over most government decisions. The last parliamentary election was held in November 2016 and was generally free and fair with several members of the opposition winning seats.
Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces.
The most significant human rights issues included allegations of torture of detainees; political prisoners; restrictions on freedom of speech, including criminalization inter alia of criticism of government officials and defamation of religion; long-term movement and assembly limits on a stateless population referred to as Bidoon; trafficking in persons; criminalization of male same sex sexual activity; and reports of forced labor, especially among foreign workers.
The government took steps in some cases to prosecute and punish officials who committed abuses, whether in the security services or elsewhere in the government. Impunity was a problem in corruption cases.
For Further Reference
Full U.S. Department of State Human Rights Country Report
U.S. Department of State International Religious Freedom Country Report
U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report Country Narrative
Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review
Human Rights Watch World Report Country Chapter
Amnesty International Annual Report Country Chapter
Freedom House Freedom in the World Country Report