Source: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Côte d’Ivoire
24.The Committee is concerned about:
(a)The very high number of children who do not possess a birth certificate and that parents incur multiple direct and indirect costs in the registration process;
(b)The considerable disparity in birth registration levels between urban and rural areas, and difficulties and delays in registration owing to insufficient registration services being available in some locations in the State party;
(c)The late registration of Ivorian refugee children who were born in neighbouring countries due to political and military crises in the State party and have since returned, and that they can only be registered in Abidjan, far away from where most returning refugees reside.
25. The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Strengthen measures to promote mandatory, universal and timely birth registration, and eliminate any fees and costs associated with registration ;
(b) Expeditiously implement Act No. 2018-862 of 19 November 2018 on civil status and Act No. 2018-863 of 19 November 2018 on birth registration, with the aim of decentralizing birth registration as far as possible, to benefit rural and marginalized populations and to facilitate registration of those children who do not yet possess a birth certificate;
(c) Ensure that such measures are applicable to children whose parents fled the State party in the context of its military and political crises, including the post-election crisis of 2010/11, and who were born outside of the State party and are thus not yet registered.
26.The Committee notes the ratification in 2013 of the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, the implementation of an action plan and the establishment of an interministerial committee to address statelessness and the court ruling of 2018 that granted nationality to 11 children abandoned on the State party’s territory on the basis of article 3 of Act No. 61-415 of 14 December 1961 on the Ivorian Nationality Code. However, the Committee is seriously concerned that:
(a)The number of stateless persons, including children, in the State party is very high and that data collection on the situation of stateless children is not systematic;
(b)Act No. 61-415, as amended by Act No. 72-852 of 21 December 1972, is not in line with the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, and does not provide safeguards against statelessness for children abandoned on the State party’s territory or children born in the territory who would otherwise be stateless;
(c)Article 45 of Act No. 61-415 limits the rights of married women who are not widowed to pass on their nationality to their children.
27. The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Use the qualitative and quantitative analysis on statelessness in the State party undertaken by the Census Bureau and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2018 to review policies and strategies with relevance for the rights of stateless children and establish a data collection system on stateless children, disaggregated by, inter alia, sex, age, national and ethnic origin, and minority and socioeconomic status;
(b) Amend Act No. 61-415 to automatically grant nationality at birth also to children who cannot acquire the nationality of their parents or who are abandoned on the State party ’ s territory ;
(c) Expeditiously amend Act No. 61-415 to remove any limitations to the right of women to pass on their nationality to their children .