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Childhood Statelessness in South Africa

Childhood statelessness in South Africa is a generally unaddressed, largely preventable, but a growing phenomenon. This short publication presents the experiences of 9 children who have been let down by the system, denied their right to acquire a nationality and rendered stateless in South Africa. The many issues that come to rise through their stories and the proposed solutions were brought to the attention of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) by Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) and the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI) in a joint submission to the Committee in 2015.

Despite its international and domestic obligations, South Africa’s legislative framework collectively creates and perpetuates childhood statelessness. Discrimination in the South African Citizenship Act, 1995 can be seen in the stories illustrated in this publication. Positive provisions are constrained by restrictive birth registration requirements of the Births and Deaths Registration Act (BDRA), 1992, which can lead to statelessness

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Uploaded on: May 23, 2017
Last Updated: Jun 14, 2017
Year Published: 2015


Resource Tags

Resource Type: Practitioner Resources Issues: Children's Rights, Citizenship & Identification, Community Paralegals, Generalist Legal Services, Governance, Accountability & Transparency, Legal Aid & Public Interest Law Tool Type: Case Study Target Population: Stateless Method: Improving Governance, Accountability and Transparency, Research Languages: English Regions: South Africa