CRC Concluding Observations: Algeria 2012

Published: 18/Jul/2012
Source: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child


Birth registration

37.The Committee notes as positive that birth registration is almost universal in the State party. The Committee is however concerned that:

(a)Registration officers and family judges often refuse to register children born out of wedlock although no legal restriction exists concerning the registration of those children;

(b)Refugee and stateless children are not systematically provided with birth certificates which puts them at risk of statelessness and hinders their access to essential social services; and

(c)Unregistered children are deprived of access to schools and are enrolled in mosques and in literary classes.

38. The Committee urges the State party to ensure that all children within the territory of the State party living in Algeria , including children born out of wedlock, refugee and stateless children are registered at birth. The State party should also urgently issue clear instructions to all schools throughout the territory that all children, irrespective of their registration status should be enrolled into public schools and that no child should be deprived access to education.

Name and nationality

39.While welcoming the amendment of the Nationality Code in 2005, giving Algerian women the right to transfer their nationality to their children born to a foreign father, the Committee expresses concern that in some cases however, Algerian mothers have to seek the agreement of a family judge in order to pass on their nationality to their children. The Committee also expresses concern that children born out of wedlock are often denied to take their mother’s family name and instead are registered with two surnames, a situation which leads to their identification as children born out of wedlock and to their subsequent stigmatization. The Committee is further concerned that in some cities, Berber families are denied their right to register their children with an Amazigh surname.

40. The Committee recalls the responsibilities of the State party, in accordance with articles 2 and 7 of the Convention, to ensure that all children within the State party’s jurisdiction have the right to be registered and acquire a nationality, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parents’ or legal guardians’ sex, race, religion or ethnicity, social origin or status. The Committee therefore urges the State party:

(a) To ensure that children born to an Algerian mother married to a foreign national can automatically acquire their mother’s nationality as prescribed in the Nationality Code;

(b) To send clear instructions to family judges and civil registration officers that children born out of wedlock should be registered in accordance with the law under their mother’s name when their mother presents such a request;

(c) To ensure that Amazigh families can freely chose the surname of their children without interference from civil registration officers; and

(d) To ratify the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness of 1961.


Themes: Acquisition by children, International standards, Birth Registration
Regions: Algeria
Year: 2012