Citizenship and Statelessness in the Member States of the Southern African Development Community

Published: 31/Déc/2020
Source: UNHCR

By Bronwen Manby

Overview of the report

This study seeks to provide a comparative analysis of nationality law and its implementation in SADC Member States and highlight the gaps that allow statelessness; to identify the populations that may be stateless or at risk of statelessness and the reasons why statelessness remains prevalent; and to make recommendations for the remedies that may address the problem at both national and regional level. These recommendations are directed to actions that may be taken by the SADC institutions; by Member States acting in cooperation and individually; and by other overlapping regional institutions whose mandates cover statelessness-related issues, such as the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

This report is the third in a series commissioned by UNHCR, covering nationality and statelessness in West, East and Southern Africa. The other two reports have covered the Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Partner States of the East African Community (EAC). It also updates and expands a previous briefing paper on statelessness in the southern Africa region, published by UNHCR in 2011. This report draws on the analysis of statelessness in the previous reports, and builds on it, based on the experience of southern Africa and the increasing knowledge base and expertise of UNHCR and its partners in relation to statelessness and nationality law.

After this summary, Section 2 of this report summarises the history of nationality law in SADC Member States. Section 3 sets out the comparative provisions of nationality law today, and the gaps in the law that contribute to the risk of statelessness. Section 4 looks at nationality administration in practice, including birth registration and issuance of national identity cards and naturalisation certificates, and identifies some of the major blockages. Section 5 describes the groups most at risk of statelessness common to all SADC countries, and identifies individual examples of such groups. Section 6 describes the impacts of statelessness on those affected. Secion 7 outlines international and African standards on nationality and statelessness, and the jurisprudence of the African human rights institutions. A comprehensive set of recommendations is provided in section 8.

Download: Statelessness_in_Southern_Africa_Dec2020





Themes: Acquisition de la nationalité, Normes africaines, Normes internationales, Perte et déchéance de la nationalité, Normes sous-régionales
Regions: Namibie, Zambie, Afrique du Sud, Zimbabwe, Angola, Afrique australe, Malawi, Lesotho, Botswana, Mozambique, Eswatini
Year: 2020