Statelessness in Southern Africa Newsletter Q3 2023 – South Africa

Published: 26/Sep/2023
Source: Southern Africa Nationality Network (SANN) and UNHCR


On 26 September, the United Nations Committee of the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) conducted a pre-sessional review of South Africa. This review provided an opportunity for the CRC to engage directly with children and children’s rights advocates, as part of preparations for the country session scheduled for February 2024, which typically involves discussions with State representatives. Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), the Centre for Child Law (CCL), and the Scalabrini Centre for Cape Town (Scalabrini) were invited to participate in the pre-sessional review. Their role was to provide insights based on their joint submission concerning South Africa’s compliance with its obligations regarding children’s right to a nationality, as outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The CRC’s inquiry encompassed several critical areas, including the measures South Africa has implemented to prevent childhood statelessness, strategies for identifying and providing birth certificates to all undocumented children, efforts to mitigate the impact of blocked identification documents on children, and the circumstances surrounding children of refugees or asylum seekers who are denied access to basic services such as education and healthcare. This engagement represents a significant step towards ensuring that South Africa upholds its commitments to children’s rights and takes measures to prevent statelessness and improve the welfare of all children. You can access the South Africa report and alternative reports submitted by civil society organisations here.

Full newsletter here, with further information on South Africa –


Themes: Acquisition by children, Birth Registration, Statelessness
Regions: South Africa
Year: 2023