UNHCR Campaign to End Statelessness Update April 2018

Published: 1/Apr/2018
Source: UNHCR
  • On 28 February, the League of Arab States (LAS) convened a Ministerial meeting in Tunis on “Belonging and Legal Identity” under the patronage of the President of Tunisia. The meeting resulted in the adoption of the Declaration on Belonging and Legal Identity (Arabic), which builds on positive developments in 2016 and 2017. The Declaration calls for equal nationality rights for women and for all children to be able to enjoy their right to a legal identity. On the same occasion, LAS launched a new “I am Here” Campaign aimed at documenting positive developments related to the implementation of the Declaration.
  • On 13-16 March in South Africa, a second meeting of experts from Member States of the African Union took place to discuss and review the “AU Draft Protocol on Nationality and Statelessness”. A third meeting of experts is expected to take place later in 2018 to finalize the draft Protocol, in preparation for submission to the AU’s Special Technical Committees on Migration and on Legal and Judicial Affairs. After review by the Technical Committees, the Protocol is expected to move forward for adoption by African Union Member States.
  • On 14 March, a high-level side event, “Advancing Gender Equality in Nationality Laws”, was held at the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) in New York. The event, which was organized by the Global Campaign on Equal Nationality Rights, drew many government delegations as well as civil society leaders and journalists. Co-sponsors included Australia, Madagascar, Morocco, Sierra Leone, the Office of the Permanent Observer for the League of Arab States to the United Nations, UNHCR, UN Women, UNICEF, and the Inter-Parliamentary Union. This impressive group of delegations led a powerful discussion about the benefits of removing gender discrimination from nationality laws, drawing on lessons learned from recent reforms.
  • On 16 February, Burkina Faso officially launched its National Action Plan to end statelessness at a high-level ceremony. The plan is in line with the 2017 Banjul Plan of Action and aims to eradicate statelessness by 2024.
  • In line with Action 3 (Remove gender discrimination from nationality laws), the Council of Ministers in Sudan proposed an amendment to the 1994 Sudanese Nationality Act on 25 February. The change would allow Sudanese mothers to confer nationality to children where the father is from South Sudan, as Sudanese fathers can confer nationality to children where the mother is South Sudanese.
  • Togo has begun a review of its Nationality Law to bring it in line with the Constitution, which provides for equality between women and men in their ability to confer their nationality to their children. Today Togo remains one of 25 countries where mothers are unable to confer nationality to their children on an equal basis as fathers, but there are strong indications in favor of reform in the near future.

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Themes: International standards, Statelessness
Regions: Sudan, International, North Africa, Pan Africa, Burkina Faso, Togo
Year: 2018