Namibia – ‘We don’t exist’…a dive into a stateless life

Published: 8/Août/2023
Source: New Era (Windhoek)

By Aletta Shikololo



Last week, New Era accompanied officials from the immigration ministry to the Oshikoto region, where they continued with the ongoing outreach programme aimed at identifying and documenting the stateless community.


About 1 000 people were given documents in the areas visited last week.

“Earlier, I couldn’t get my birth certificate because my father is not Namibian, and my mother died a long time ago. However, I managed to get my mother’s death certificate, which allowed me to finally acquire my own birth certificate. I feel happy that I am officially a Namibian citizen, and therefore my children will also have documents,” Moses Sackaria beamed.

The councillor of Nehale lyaMpingana, Joseph Shilongo, stated that the primary reasons for the statelessness include illegal migration and permanent relocation with no identification documents, lack of essential services in remote regions, and limited access to information.

“But it is mostly a lack of information because these people live about 100km far from the nearest towns. Many are destitute and don’t know what to do or where to go to enquire. For example, if someone doesn’t register the child at birth, it is very unlikely that they will ever register that child,” he added.

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Themes: Apatridie, Cartes d’identité et passeports, Enregistrement des naissances
Regions: Namibie
Year: 2023