The right to nationality of the Saharawis and their legal identity documents

Published: 4/Mar/2024
Source: Citizenship Studies

Immanuel, Andrea Marilyn Pragashini. 2023. “The Right to Nationality of the Saharawis and Their Legal Identity Documents.” Citizenship Studies 27 (7): 914–32. doi:10.1080/13621025.2024.2321722.

The Western Sahara territory is a non-self-governing territory under international law with an ongoing struggle for self-determination from colonisation and alien occupation. The unresolved statehood of the WesternSahara territory complicates the nationality status of the indigenous Saharawis and threatens their human right to a nationality. Legal identity documents have implications for the right to nationality of the individual under international law. Morocco (as the occupying power in control of most of the Western Sahara territory) and the Polisario Front (as the national liberation movement engaged in the struggle against colonisation and alien occupation) issue legal identity documents to the Saharawis. This article ascertains that these documents have an effect on the right to nationality of the Saharawis. This article finds that while the Moroccan-issued documents violate the Saharawis’ right to nationality, the Polisario Front-issued documents uphold this right and could clarify the Saharawis’ nationality status.

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Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Discrimination, Ethnic/Racial/Religious, ID Documents and Passports, State Succession, Statelessness
Regions: Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (Western Sahara)
Year: 2023