Extracts relevant to Africa:
Mobilizing governments and civil society
On 14 February, in Kenya, the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) in collaboration with Haki Centre Organization, Kwale Human Rights Network and UNHCR, organized a meeting in Kwale County, between Members of Parliament who are supporting a petition to recognize the Pemba community and members of the Pemba stateless community. The meeting was an opportunity to provide an update on the status of the petition and the actions that were taken since.
On 17 February, in Somalia, the Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation, organized a capacity-building workshop on the national legal framework on nationality and statelessness and the Somalia National Action Plan to End Statelessness 2021-2024 for Jubaland officials dealing with citizenship and documentation and representatives from civil society. Participants were able to familiarize themselves with the National Action Plan and the relevant activities to end statelessness in Somalia.
During her mission to Zimbabwe, from 19 to 21 January, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Ms. Gillian Triggs, met with the Ministers responsible for Refugees and Foreign Affairs, where she encouraged the Government of Zimbabwe to accede to the 1961 Convention and implement the pledges made by Zimbabwe during the 2019 High-Level Segment on Statelessness.
On 14 February, in Abuja, Nigeria, UNHCR convened the annual partnership coordination meeting with the Directorate of Humanitarian and Social Affairs of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission. The meeting resulted in the development of a joint workplan for 2022. ECOWAS reiterated its support for the adoption of the Regional Model Law on statelessness determination procedures and the protection of stateless persons.
On 9 and 10 March, in Burkina Faso, in support of the Government’s efforts to ensure effective civil registration and documentation to prevent statelessness, UNHCR organized a training for 40 local government employees in charge of civil registration and documentation. The training focused on the causes of statelessness, the importance of civil registration for the prevention of statelessness and the national legal framework. Representatives from the media also attended the training, with the view to reinforce and support public communication and awareness raising efforts.
On 15 March, in Mali, UNHCR and the Government Committee on Statelessness organized an event to present and disseminate the study “Risks of statelessness in Mali and for Malians residing abroad”. The audience was mainly composed of students and lecturers from the University of Bamako.
Implementation of the Global Action Plan
In line with Action 7: Ensure birth registration for the prevention of statelessness, efforts to raise awareness on the importance of birth registration and to facilitate access continued in Kenya. UNHCR, the Haki Centre Organization and the local Civil Registrar in Malindi organized a community sensitization and birth certificate distribution exercise in the Magarini area in Kilifi County. The issuance of birth certificates followed a mobile registration exercise conducted in December 2021, during which 2,356 applications were made. The exercise targeted members of the stateless Pemba community and other members of the community in the area.
Efforts to provide birth certificates to vulnerable populations were also made in Sudan. The Commissioner for Refugees, the Civil Registry and UNHCR issued birth certificates to 683 South Sudanese refugee children living in the North Kordofan State. This exercise was the first time refugee children were able to access birth certificates in this region.
UNHCR in Algeria continued its efforts to refer persons of concern for legal assistance to facilitate access to birth registration, including through late birth registration. UNHCR also developed an information leaflet on civil registration and documentation procedures, including an overview of available assistance.
The Government of Burkina Faso rolled out the digital civil registration tool, Icivil, to the Gourcy municipality in the Nord region, where many populations at risk of statelessness reside. The tool facilitates birth registration for the prevention of statelessness, for example by allowing midwives to quickly create a notification of birth using a phone, thereby facilitating birth registration.
In Zambia, the Department of National Registration, Passports and Citizenship in collaboration with the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees, and supported by UNHCR, conducted birth registration and documentation exercises at the Meheba, Mayukwayukwa and Mantapala refugee settlements and in Lusaka. Birth registration and birth certificates are essential for children to obtain their refugee documentation and a legal status in the country. In advance of the exercise, an information campaign was organized to sensitize the target population on the importance of birth registration. A total of 1,612 births were registered and 231 birth certificates and 2,982 refugee documents were issued.
In Rwanda, in accordance with Action 10: Improve quantitative and qualitative data on stateless populations, the National Statelessness Taskforce started training over 3,000 government officials. The training is a key-element to the implementation of a country-wide survey to identify stateless persons and persons of undetermined nationality, expected to be completed by mid-2022.
Download full report : https://www.refworld.org/docid/6273a83a4.html