Report of the 1st Extraordinary Session of the STC on Migration, Refugees and IDPs, 29 October – 3rd November 2018, Equatorial Guinea, Malabo
Source: African Union
Report of the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons submitted to the 34th ordinary session of the AU Executive Council, 7 – 8 February 2019, EX.CL/1107(XXXIV), on an extraordinary session held 2-3 November 2018 in Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) on the theme :
“Overcoming the challenges of statelessness, forced displacement and free movement of persons in Africa”
“Regarding the consideration of the Draft Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on Specific Aspects of the Right to Nationality and the Eradication of Statelessness in Africa.
22. The delegations raised several questions on the Draft Protocol, including the issue of reservations; the definition of the concept of “usual place of abode; the definition of “Child”, the compatibility of the Protocol with national laws, as well as the legality of residence to determine nationality. Some delegates also raised procedural issues regarding the role of the STC on Legal Affairs in addressing some of the issues raised by the delegates at the Extraordinary Session of the STC on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons.
23. The following specific questions were raised:
a) the incompatibility between the definitions of “child” in some national laws and in the protocol;
b) the importance of defining the concept of “usual place of abode” in order to avoid the risk of contradictory or divergent definitions of the concept of “habitual residence” in “national legislation”;
c) can Member States express reservations with respect to any of the provisions of the Protocol in the light of a general provision on reservations in Article 26?;
d) the link between the “legality” of the place of residence and the determination of nationality.
24. The Minister thanked the delegates for their questions and comments and invited them to submit their proposed amendments and recommendations to the Secretariat in writing. She requested the AU Commission and the Legal Counsel to answer some of the specific questions and also informed the meeting that the STC Justice and Legal Affairs would be the appropriate forum to deal with some of the outstanding legal issues.
25. The Legal Adviser referred to the Vienna Convention which stipulates the conditions under which reservations may be made and that reservations incompatible with the object and purpose of a treaty were not allowed. The Commissioner for Political Affairs indicated that the recommendations, reservations and comments made by the delegates would be reflected in the report which would be forwarded to the STC on Justice and Legal Affairs.”
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