MembersThere are Still Slaves in 2018

Think slavery is a problem of the past? Think again.

By Edy Cohen |
Bidoon
Photo: Photo: AP

There are still slaves in the world today, and many of them can be found in the oil-rich Persian Gulf emirate of Kuwait.

In what is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, poverty and the abuse of human rights run rampant. This same country claims to be the most democratic in the region, and prides itself on close ties to the West, but is also home to more than 100,000 forced laborers. These slaves are known as the Bidoon. They are entirely undocumented, enjoy absolutely zero rights (for instance, they can’t marry, be buried in the country, or receive medical care or education), and primarily live in tents.

Kuwait’s rulers regard the Bidoon as opportunistic migrants (though some have lived within the current borders since before Kuwait’s establishment in 1961) who want to exploit the country, and so refuse to recognize them under any legal framework. The problem has...

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