UNHCR Campaign to End Statelessness Update July – September 2023

Published: 27/Fév/2024
Source: UNHCR

Extracts relevant to Africa:

Kenya recognized 7,000 Pemba individuals as citizens, granting them official documents. This ensures their rights and access to public services and opportunities.

In Malawi, the Ministry of Home Affairs, officially adopted a National Action Plan (NAP) on the eradication of statelessness. UNHCR has  supported the development of the Action Plan. The meeting was attended by relevant stakeholders including government, constitutional bodies, professional institutions, and religious groups. The NAP outlines the roadmap for the implementation of actions 2,3,4,7,8,9 and 10 of the Global Action Plan to End Statelessness.

UNHCR and and the Directorate of Civil Registry and Archives (DECA) in Cote D’Ivoire organized a workshop from 5 to 7 July to draft a National Law on statelessness procedures, protection of stateless persons, and on facilitation of naturalization. Attended by relevant ministries and UNHCR, and inspired by the Regional model law on statelessness determination, the draft law aligns with the 1954 Statelessness Convention, providing expanded statelessness definition, comprehensive rights for stateless persons, and a streamlined naturalization process. The workshop concluded with technical approval, and the next steps include submission to the Council of Ministers and adoption by Parliament.

In Mali, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, with UNHCR’s support, conducted a workshop on drafting the Law relating to the status of stateless persons. The workshop was held in Bamako from 28 August to 1 September and aligned with Mali’s commitment at the 2019 High-Level Segment on Statelessness. Attended by experts from the National Directorate of Legal Affairs and the Seal, the National Human Rights Commission and UNHCR, the workshop produced a draft law compliant with the 1954 Statelessness Convention. The draft law contains important provisions on establishing a statelessness determination procedure, rights for stateless persons, and a simplified naturalization procedure. The draft Law is set for validation by the Inter-ministerial Committee to combat statelessness, followed by consideration for adoption by the National Council of the Transition.

In Tanzania, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania naturalized 3, 319 long term migrants at risk of statelessness on 5 September. The handover of the naturalization certificates ceremony was led by His Excellency Dr. Hussein Ally Mwinyi, the President of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. The naturalization fees for the whole group were waived by the Government.

With support from UNHCR, the Government of Burkina Faso facilitated the issuance of 20,706 birth certificates. The drive took place between July and September and benefitted 11,101 women and 9,605 men in nine displacement and crisis-affected regions. Additionally, 8,817 national identity cards were provided. In addition, in Boucle du Mouhoun Centre-Est, Est, Sud-Ouest, Centre-Nord and Nord regions, 8817 national identity cards have been issued to 6,260 women and 2,557 men. In the same regions, 704 nationality certificates were issued. These efforts effectively prevent statelessness, offer protection, and enhance access to services.

In Somalia, in line with Priority 5 (accede to the UN Statelessness Conventions) of the National Action Plan to end statelessness, on 17 and 30 August, the Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation of Somalia (MOIFAR) facilitated two workshops on the domestication of Statelessness Conventions. The workshops were attended by representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Immigration, Office of the Attorney General, and Academic Institutions including Somali National University, Banadir University, and Simad University. The workshops concluded with a call to action for the government to take steps to domesticate the 1954 Convention and translate it
into the Somali language.

UNHCR intensified advocacy in July for Sao Tome and Principe’s ratification of the 1954 and 1961 Statelessness Conventions. UNHCR  provided technical support to the Government, sharing key documents with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Communities to emphasize the benefits of ratifying both Conventions. UNHCR has also worked with the Resident Coordinator in Sao Tome and Principe for further advocacy. With joint efforts and demonstrated political will, the ratification of the Conventions is anticipated in due course.

Download update: https://www.refworld.org/reference/news/unhcr/2024/en/147546

Themes: Acquisition par les enfants, Apatridie, Cartes d’identité et passeports, Enregistrement des naissances, Normes internationales, Naturalisation et le mariage, Nationalité des réfugiés
Regions: Mali, Tanzanie, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi, Cote d’Ivoire, Somalie, São Tomé & Príncipe
Year: 2023