South Africa: Landmark victory for single dads
Source: The Herald (South Africa)
Makhanda (Grahamstown) father desperate to keep his family together has won a landmark legal victory after a judge ruled that a law barring him from registering the birth of his child was unconstitutional.
Liesl Muller, of Lawyers for Human Rights, said the judgment was highly significant as it removed clear gender discrimination from home affairs regulations.
“Many of my clients are single dads trying to register their children’s births [in cases] where the mother is foreign and undocumented or absent, or where she has abandoned the children,” she said.
“This judgment will help many children.”
Lawyers for Human Rights have handled 780 similar cases since January last year.
Without a birth certificate, children cannot access social welfare or health benefits, or go to school.
Last week, acting judge Apla Bodlani, sitting in the Grahamstown High Court, declared as unconstitutional a blanket ban on birth registrations by parents whose circumstances do not adhere to the department’s checklist, and has sent the regulations back to parliament to be fixed.
Read further on The Herald website.