Arusha Declaration, Africa Chapter of the IARMJ

Published: 18/Nov/2022
Source: International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges, Africa Chapter



ACKNOWLEDGING that statelessness can be a cause and a consequence of forced displacement, the latter particularly in protracted refugee situations;

RECOGNIZING THAT the right to a nationality is a fundamental right recognized by many international and regional human rights instruments, including Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights affirming ‘the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being and to the recognition of his legal status’, a critical component of which is the right to a nationality;

CALL upon African States to ensure that comprehensive refugee solutions are adopted to mitigate the risk of statelessness arising from prolonged exile;

SUPPORT the collective efforts initiated since 2013 by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and the African Union Commission to finalize the text of the draft Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Specific Aspects of the Right to a Nationality and the Eradication of Statelessness in Africa in order to ensure its finalisation and adoption by the Executive Council and the Assembly of African Union;

NOTING that the adoption of this specific regional human rights instrument in Africa will complement the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights to facilitate the inclusion of individuals within African States by providing legal solutions for the resolution of practical problems linked to the recognition and exercise of the right to a nationality, to eradicate statelessness, and to identify the principles that should govern relations between individuals and States in relation to these issues;

CALL on States to prevent and reduce statelessness by closing gaps in their domestic nationality laws which lead to statelessness, including by inserting the necessary safeguards to avoid childhood statelessness in line with Article 6 (3) and (4) of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child;

RECALLING that universal birth registration for all persons born on the territory of a State and issuance of birth certificates without discrimination, including for asylum-seekers and refugees born in country of asylum as well as members of minority and cross border communities, help to prevent statelessness;

RECOGNIZING the critical importance of the judiciary to exercise ad minimum judicial/due process review to ensure that a person entitled to the nationality according to the law of the State has access to a conclusive proof of nationality;

URGES African States that are not yet party to the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, to accede to these instruments; and to COMMITS to eradicate statelessness in Africa.

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Themes: Acquisition by children, African standards, Birth Registration, Statelessness
Regions: Pan Africa
Year: 2022