Source: Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)
By Maureen Odunga and Faustine Kapama
THE government has revealed that plans are in place to counter the runaway birthrate in refugee camps in Kigoma Region that result in 600 babies being born in every month.
In an exclusive interview with the ‘Daily News’ yesterday, the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Major General Jacob Kingu, observed that the government has been aware of the problem for some time and embarked on voluntary repatriation of the refugees in question.
The repatriation came following reports that the refugees’ countries of origin had already stabilised and were free from political instability and civil wars.
Clearing the air on whether the children could claim birth rights in Tanzania, the Attorney General, Prof Adelardus Kilangi, pointed out that being a refugee is a status regulated by national, regional and international law.
He said that what a refugee can claim is the status of being a refugee and the same applies to the children.
“So children born in such status cannot get any other status or claim other rights than that. There are other legal and policy issues that are dealt with by the ministry and when the government decides to give citizenship to their parents by naturalisation,” the AG said.
However, he said, problem emerges for children under 18, as they are still dependent. But for children aged above 18, the AG said, the procedure is the same as that of their parents.
Furthermore, he said, such children cannot claim rights other than refugee status.
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