Citizenship in Senegal is governed by the Loi No. 61-10 du 7 mars 1961 déterminant la nationalité sénégalaise as modified most recently in 2013 (Loi 2013-05). The 2013 amendments sought to remove gender discrimination in the 1961 law which provided the children of Senegalese fathers and foreign mothers with automatic citizenship while the children of Senegalese mothers and foreign fathers had to apply at majority. The law also changed the provisions for acquisition of nationality by marriage, allowing Senegalese women to pass their nationality to their spouses on the same terms as men.
Although the provisions of the law appear to prohibit dual nationality, in practice dual nationality is tolerated by Senegal for ordinary citizens. The Constitution provides that the president must not be a dual national; in 2016 there were proposals to require that presidential candidates should have renounced another nationality five years before standing for office.
In 2006, the Committee on the Rights of the Child welcomed Senegal’s efforts to improve birth registration in the country, but expressed concern about the persistent disparity between urban and rural populations in this regard.
Senegal hosts a large population of Mauritanian refugees whose citizenship status in Mauritania has been contested. Many of these refugees have returned to Mauritania, assisted by UNHCR. Senegal has offered naturalization to members of the remaining group.