CRC Concluding Observations: Lesotho, 2018

Published: 25/Jun/2018
Source: UN Committee on the Rights of the Child


Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Lesotho

Birth registration and nationality
24.The Committee notes the creation of one-stop shops that provide birth registration services and the provision of space for birth registration in community council facilities since March 2018, mobile registration and citizenship centres, as well as the efforts of the Government jointly with other stakeholders to increase awareness of birth registration. However, the Committee remains concerned about:

(a)Low levels of birth registration, in particular in rural areas, and difficulties and delays in registration owing to registration services at times not being available in easily accessible locations;

(b)Penalties for late registration;

(c)Foundlings, who appear to have been born in the State party, not being provided with citizenship even if they would otherwise be stateless;

(d)Discriminatory provisions in law, including in the Constitution and under the Citizenship Order (1971), against Basotho citizens born abroad and Basotho women that could undermine the child’s right to acquire nationality without discrimination;

(e)Citizenship applications being restricted to stateless persons who are over 18 years of age and lawfully in the country;

(f)The absence of data on stateless children.

25. Taking note of target 16.9 of the Sustainable Development Goals, on providing legal identity for all, including birth registration, the Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Strengthen the use of mobile birth registration teams to cover remote communities and extend the birth registration process to hospitals throughout the country;

(b) Strengthen its efforts to implement birth registration procedures immediately after birth and ensure the issuance of birth certificates, in particular at the community level;

(c) Remove penalties for late birth registration;

(d) Adopt legislative measures to prevent discriminatory rules, and provide safeguards in respect of the right to acquire nationality for all children in the State party, including foundlings, who would otherwise be stateless;

(e) Collect data on stateless children in the State party;

(f) Launch extensive awareness-raising programmes about the importance of birth registration and registration processes;

(g) Seek technical assistance from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and UNICEF, among others, in the implementation of these recommendations.

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Themes: Acquisition by children, International standards, Birth Registration
Regions: Lesotho
Year: 2018