Constitutional Provisions

The 1992 Constitution of Kuwait does not guarantee the right to life. According to Article 31, "No person shall be subjected to torture or to ignominious treatment."

Article 44 of the Constitution stipulates that:

Individuals have the right to meet without need for permission or prior notification; no member of the Security Force shall be allowed to attend their private meetings.

Public assemblies, processions and gatherings are permitted in accordance with the conditions and the stipulations defined by Law provided the objects and the means of the gathering be peaceful and not incompatible with morals.

Article 159 provides that: "In compliance with the Law the State alone shall establish the Armed Forces and the Public Security bodies." The use of force by the police or other law enforcement agencies is not specifically regulated by the Constitution.

Treaty Adherence

Global Treaties

Adherence to Selected Human Rights Treaties
1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) State Party
ICCPR Optional Protocol 1 Not party
1984 Convention against Torture (CAT) State Party
Competence of CAT Committee to receive individual complaints No
CAT Optional Protocol 1 Not party
Adherence to International Criminal Law Treaties
1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Signatory

Regional Treaties

Adherence to Regional Human Rights Treaties
2004 Arab Charter of Human Rights State Party

National Legislation

Police Use of Force

The Kuwait Police (in Arabic: شرطة الكويت), an agency of the Ministry of Interior, has primary responsibility for law enforcement in Kuwait. The 1968 Police Act No. 23 is not believed to regulate police use of force. The 1960 Penal Code of Kuwait is also not publicly available in English.

Police Oversight

There is no independent civilian police oversight body in Kuwait. The General Department of Monitoring and Inspection, part of the Ministry of the Interior, is authorised to examine complaints about unlawful police use of force.



Views and Concluding Observations of United Nations Treaty Bodies

In its 2016 Concluding Observations on Kuwait, the Human Rights Committee expressed its concern

about allegations of occasional cases of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment in detention by the police and security forces....

In its 2016 Concluding Observations on Kuwait, the Committee against Torture expressed its concern

at consistent reports of torture and ill-treatment, in particular during prolonged detention of persons by the police and security forces, in response to terrorist activities, as well as in relation to peaceful protests by human rights defenders and members of minorities.

The Committee called on Kuwait to: "Ensure that peaceful demonstrations are not repressed by unnecessary excessive use of force and even detention."


There is not yet an Arab regional human rights court with jurisdiction over Kuwait.


1992 Constitution of Kuwait (English translation)

1968 Police Act No. 23

1960 Penal Code

Human Rights Committee Concluding Observations on Kuwait (2016)

Committee against Torture Concluding Observations on Kuwait (2016)