Source: African Union
Dated May 2018; published 7 December 2018
6.6 Stateless persons
The right to a nationality is a fundamental right recognised under international law. Nevertheless forcibly displaced persons are affected disproportionately by the problem of statelessness, especially women and children. Persons may become stateless as a result of inter-State
conflict and the consequent redrawing of political boundaries, or as a result of extended stays abroad and changes in civil status while abroad. Stateless persons are unable to avail themselves of the protection of citizenship and are consequently vulnerable to the deprivation of their rights. SDG 16, under target 16.9, commits States, by 2030, to provide legal identity to all, including birth registration.
i. Incorporate key guidelines into national legal frameworks and policies as recommended in the AU Protocol on Stateless Persons and the 1954 and 1961 Statelessness Conventions.
ii. Recognise the vulnerabilities of women and girls rendered stateless through changes to national borders, definitions of citizenship, laws that do not extend citizenship to migrants or children born to women with an irregular status, among other factors.
iii. Ensure the protection of stateless children and observe the best interests of the child.
iv. Develop national legislative and policy frameworks to counter statelessness, particularly in the case of long-term residents, by reforming citizenship legislation and/or granting rights similar to those enjoyed by foreigners residing in the State.
v. Enhance birth registration to address statelessness.
vi. Ensure that everyone, including migrants, are able to acquire, change, retain and confer their nationality and that such a right is reflected in nationality laws.
Download: AU Migration Policy Framework 2018-30
Also in French on AU website: https://au.int/en/documents/20181207/migration-policy-framework-africa-mpfa