African Centre of Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) and People’s Legal Aid Centre (PLACE) v. the Government of Republic of Sudan, Comm. 005/Com/001/2015

Published: 4/May/2018
Source: African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

ACERWC Comm. 005/Com/001/2015; Decision No. 002/2018; adopted at the 31st Ordinary Session of the ACERWC, 24 April — 4 May 2018 ; published 29 November 2018.

IV: Decision of the Committee

104. For the foregoing reasons, the Committee finds that the Respondent State is in violation of its obligations under Article 3 of the Charter on non-discrimination and article 6(3) and 6(4) on the right to nationality and prevention of statelessness as well as consequential violation of article 11 on the right to education of the Children’s Charter. The Committee notes that the Complainants requested the Committee to recommend that the Government of Sudan pay compensation to the Complainant and remedy her legal status. Regarding compensation, the Committee is of the view that no pronouncement is to be made on compensation on material damage on the ground that no specific request is made and no evidence showing actual damage is adduced before it.

105. Regarding remedying the legal status of the Complainant, the Committee recommends to the Respondent State, in accordance with its obligation under the Children’s Charter, to take all necessary measures:

A. To urgently grant nationality to Ms Iman as she has a Sudanese Mother and as she would otherwise be stateless. In this regard, the Committee also recommends that the Respondent State confers its nationality to children in its territory who are stateless without taking prolonged procedure to prove their link with other States;

B. To revise its Nationality Act, with a view to:

i. Ensure that children born to Sudanese mothers automatically obtain Sudanese nationality same as children born to Sudanese fathers;

ii. Ensure that children born to South Sudanese parents are not discriminated against in obtaining Sudanese nationality where the child demonstrates clear link with the Respondent State;

iii. Ensure that its nationality law does not leave children born in the territory of the Respondent State stateless and are provided with Sudanese Nationality without mere assumption that they have acquired South Sudanese Nationality;

iv. Ensure that Sudanese Nationality is not revoked from a child unless there is sufficient and admissible evidence that the child has acquired other nationality. In doing so, the proof of other nationality should be based on laws of the acceptable proof of nationality of the State which is assumed to have conferred its nationality to that child; and

v. Ensure that revocation of Sudanese nationality of child’s parent does not result in revocation of Sudanese nationality of the child. In particular, ensure that children born to South Sudanese parents or children born to South Sudanese father and Sudanese mother get equal protection of the law in this regard.

C. To adopt a law or regulation in line with acceptable international standards that regulate the manner in which Sudanese nationality is revoked; and limit the discretion given to officials by providing factors needed to be considered in detail before effecting revocation of Sudanese nationality;

D. To ensure that there are procedural safeguards in determining, conferring and revoking Sudanese nationality. Such procedural safeguards should follow due process and the right of the child to fair trial, to be heard and participate in the process, and also the right to challenge the decision of authorities in this regard in a court of law.

E. To ensure that the grant of certificate of nationality is done in a legally prescribed timeline once application is submitted to obtain such document in order to avoid uncertainty in relation to entitlement of nationality and situation where statelessness is prolonged. Moreover, the Respondent State should ensure that its organs and officials respect the said timeline without making any discrimination on any ground whatsoever in granting certificate of nationality to children; and

F. To ensure that children are not deprived of their basic rights in the Charter, such as the right to education, health, birth registration, justice, and other basic necessities until their nationality is determined or even when they are found to be stateless or at the risk of being stateless.

Download (English): ACERWC Benjamin v Sudan signed decision May 2018 EN

Download (Arabic): ACERWC Benjamin v Sudan signed decision May 2018 AR

Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Acquisition by children, African standards, Discrimination, Ethnic/Racial/Religious, Gender, Birth Registration, ID Documents and Passports, Loss and Deprivation of Nationality, Statelessness
Regions: Sudan, Pan Africa
Year: 2018