CRC Concluding Observations: Cameroon, 2017

Published: 6/Jul/2017
Source: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child


Birth registration and nationality

18.The Committee welcomes the revision of the legal and institutional framework to ameliorate the birth registration process, including the establishment of the National Civil Status Office and the extension of the time limit to declare births. However, it is concerned about the low level of birth registration, particularly in rural areas, owing to:

(a)Gaps in the law failing to address the impact on poor and vulnerable families of costs associated with birth registration and the declaration of all births outside hospitals;

(b)Low awareness among parents of the importance of birth registration and the time limits for registration and, upon expiration, the difficulties in obtaining a substitute birth certificate through a court order;

(c)Inaccessible and underresourced civil registries disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations, including indigenous groups and communities in the Bakassi Peninsula.

19. Taking note of target 16.9 of the Sustainable Development Goals on providing legal identity for all, including birth registration, the Committee reiterates its previous recommendation (see CRC/C/CMR/CO/2, para. 34) and urges the State party to:

(a) Eliminate all fees for birth registration and certificate issuance;

(b) Increase the financial, technical and human resources of the National Civil Status Office to increase its accessibility throughout the State party;

(c) Strengthen awareness-raising campaigns encouraging parents to register births.

20.The Committee is further concerned that children born out of wedlock must fulfil additional conditions to acquire Cameroonian nationality and that the acquisition of nationality may be denied to children with disabilities.

21. The Committee recommends that the State party amend the Nationality Code to repeal discriminatory provisions relating to the acquisition of nationality by children born out of wedlock and relating to the naturalization of children with disabilities.

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Themes: Acquisition by children, International standards, Birth Registration
Regions: Cameroon
Year: 2017