ACERWC: The Committee issues a decision on the Communication against Sudan

Published: 29/Nov/2018
Source: African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

The Communication concerns Ms Iman Hassan Benjamin who was not able to attend her university education due to lack of national identity card, and further becomes stateless. She was denied an identity card because her late father would have become South Sudanese upon separation of Sudan and South Sudan if he would have been alive.

The Complaint was submitted by African Center for Justice and Peace Studies on behalf of Ms Iman Hassan. In their submission, the Complaints alleged that Iman’s Mother Ms. Hawa Ibrahim is a Sudanese National and confirmed that her father Mr. Hassan Bejamin Daoud had a Sudanese Nationality, lived most of his life in Sudan and served in Sudanese police force. According to the complainant a person needs to have a national identity number in order to apply for university education. Ms Iman was not able to apply for her university as she only had a birth certificate. When she applied for national identity card, the civil registration department directed her to Aliens persons department, indicating that she has lost her Sudanese nationality since her father would have become South Sudanese national upon separation. The Complaints alleged that Sudan has violated provisions of the African Children’s Charter specifically article 3 (right to non-discrimination); article 4 (the protection of the best interest of the child); article 6(3) right to acquire nationality); and article 6(4) the obligation to prevent statelessness. The Complainants also claimed that these violations led to consequential violations of the right to dignity and equal status, the right to have cause heard, the right to education, and the right to protection of the family.

After deliberations on the facts in the Communication, the Committee issued decision and found the Respondent State in violation of its obligation under article 3 of the Charter on non-discrimination, and articles 6(3) and 4 of the Charter on right to nationality and prevention of stateliness, as well as article 11 on the right to education. The committee issued further recommendations that the Respondent States urgently grants nationality to Ms Iman and also amends its nationality law to prevent statelessness. The Committee gave recommendations that children born to Sudanese Mothers are granted Sudanese nationality automatically and that the law should not discriminate children born to South Sudanese parents but who can demonstrate their link to the Respondent State. Moreover, the Committee, among others, recommended that the Respondent State ensures that its Nationality Law does not lead to the statelessness of children born in the Respondent State with a mere assumption that they may have acquired South Sudanese Nationality.

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Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Acquisition by children, African standards, Loss and Deprivation of Nationality, Statelessness
Regions: Sudan, Pan Africa
Year: 2018