Citizenship in The Gambia is governed by the relevant sections of the 1996 Constitution, which provides for citizenship to be granted on the basis of descent (sections 9 and 10).

A person married to a Gambian citizen may apply for citizenship, as may a person ordinarily resident for not less than fifteen years if they satisfy the conditions set out in s.12(2). Under s.13, the Secretary of State must apply to the High Court for an order if the government wishes to deprive a person of his or her citizenship.

The Gambia Nationality and Citizenship Act of 1965 remains in force in so far as its provisions are not contradicted by the constitution.

In 2015, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child welcomed some progress in birth regsitration, but expressed concern at the “huge number of children who are not immediately registered at birth”.

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