Sierra Leone: Govt. betrays CRC’s efforts on dual citizenship

Published: 19/Jan/2018
Source: Awoko (Freetown)

According to the report from the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC), delivered to the President in January 2017, Section 75 and 76 of the 1991 Constitution should be replaced, to enable citizens by naturalization to hold Public Office and Elected offices, except that of the presidency.

The CRC mandate was not limited to the review of the 1991 Constitution but was also done line with the Peter Tucker Report of 2008, and to propose amendments to it.  They further went on to recommend that the right to dual citizenship should be included in the new Citizenship Chapter they proposed, which the government cleverly ignored in their White Paper published in Sierra Leone Gazette Vol. CXLV111 No. 79 of Friday 10th November, 2017.

The government response was, “Government notes this recommendation but believes that matters of citizenship that guarantees matrilineal citizenship and supports women’s empowerment need not be elaborate in the Constitution but should be addressed in other legislation. In this regard, Government is pleased to report that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2017 now provides for citizenship by birth to be acquired directly through the mother.”

The CRC looked at various dimensions of the citizenship issues which are; the rights of citizens in the Constitution, The acquisition of citizenship without reference to race or gender, non-discriminatory conditions for naturalisation, non-discriminatory conditions for acquiring citizenship through marriage, the right of an adopted child to citizenship, the right to citizenship of a child found in Sierra Leone, the right to hold dual citizenship, marriage or dissolution of the marriage should not affect citizenship and reasons for the revocation of citizenship.

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Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Acquisition by children, Discrimination, Gender, Dual Nationality, Naturalisation and Marriage
Regions: Sierra Leone
Year: 2018