Preventing Statelessness among Migrants and Refugees: Birth Registration and Consular Assistance in Egypt and Morocco
Source: London School of Economics Middle East Centre
By Bronwen Manby
This paper presents a synthesis of research findings on the identification needs of Sub-Saharan African and other migrants and refugees in Egypt and Morocco, particularly focusing on children born outside the country of nationality of their parents. The paper sets out the legislative and regulatory frameworks in place for birth registration and issue of identity documents, and reports the findings of focus groups and interviews with migrants and refugees on the implementation of these frameworks in practice, highlighting obstacles to the registration of the births of children of foreign parents and the difficulties of obtaining documents from the consular authorities of the country of origin. The paper provides recommendations for legal and administrative reform in Egypt and Morocco, to ensure that both children and adults can have access to documents that officially confirm their nationality. The research is set within the context of international policy objectives and discussions on the provision of ‘legal identity to all’, highlighting the dangers of exclusion and statelessness if the obstacles identified by the report are not addressed.