statelessness

Ending childhood statelessness and dismantling barriers to birth registration in South Africa

A recent decision by South Africa’s apex court has put the focus on an antiquated law that prevented children of unmarried parents accessing birth registration in the same way that children of married parents do. It’s a crucial issue for the children affected and their families, because the law as it previously stood was a serious obstacle and the potential cause of statelessness for those denied birth registration.

"Children are vulnerable members of society, even more so when they are without valid birth certificates” - Victor AJ in Centre for Child Law v Director General: Home Affairs

 

Read judgment

‘Foreigners everywhere, nationals nowhere’: Southern Africa’s changing response to UN campaign on statelessness

Statelessness, once a ‘forgotten human rights crisis’, has been put at the forefront of a global agenda with the UN’s #Ibelong campaign. Among the most tragic victims of statelessness are children found abandoned in a state and who, in most Southern African states, would as a result never have any nationality. Condemned to a life in a limbo that extends even to their adult years, and that may even be inherited by their children, these stateless persons illustrate how essential the right to nationality is to every person.

In the aftermath of World War II, hundreds of thousands of individuals found themselves stateless in a shattered Europe.

African Court Delivers a Landmark Decision on Statelessness

IN what is being hailed as a “monumental” decision for the continent, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has ruled that Tanzania arbitrarily deprived a man of his Tanzanian nationality. The judgment, likely to affect many “stateless” people in Africa, stipulates that a decision to strip someone of nationality may only be taken after a fair judicial process, and that arbitrary deprivation is in breach of the University Declaration of Human Rights.

WHEN Anudo Anudo went to his local police station to sort out all the papers he needed to get married, he could not have guessed that he was about to have his nationality taken away, be made stateless – and then become the unlikely hero of a landmark decision by the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Subscribe to RSS - statelessness