Nationality in Benin is governed by the 1965 Code de la nationalité dahoméenne (Benin was formerly known as Dahomey). The law provides for citizenship to be attributed on the basis of descent, and to a child born in Benin of one parent also born there, and provides protections for children who would otherwise be stateless.

Although the law provides for access to nationality through both the father and the mother, there are some discriminatory provisions, which were found unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court in 2014.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child has welcomed efforts made by Benin to increase birth registration, including the creation of registration centers at the district level and carrying out awareness-raising campaigns. However, they expressed concern about the continued low level of registration in rural areas and suggested the placement of auxiliary registration officials at the village level and mobile courts to decide on late registrations free of charge.


Key Resources