In 2014, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees launched a campaign to end statelessness within 10 years. In the development context, Target 16.9 within the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015 is to “provide legal identity for all, including birth registration”. While universal birth registration can make a critical contribution to ending statelessness, it is not sufficient. It is necessary also to pay attention to the information recorded in the birth register, to the transcription of birth certificates into the records of the state of nationality of the parents, and to law reform to protect children who cannot obtain their parents’ nationality. The nationality law provisions in North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East that leave children and adults at risk of statelessness are already well documented. However, the procedural constraints to recognition and transmission of nationality are less well understood.
This project investigates identification needs of Sub-Saharan African and other migrants in two North African countries, Egypt and Morocco, particularly focusing on children born outside the country of nationality of their parents. It looks at the regulatory frameworks in place and their implementation in both countries, and seeks to establish practical recommendations for legal and administrative reform in Egypt and Morocco, and also more generally for both sending and receiving countries. The aim is to study and promote the most effective methods to ensure the rights of children to birth registration and of both children and adults to documents that officially confirm their nationality. Ultimately, this project aims to contribute to the reduction of statelessness among migrants and their children in North Africa and beyond.
This project forms part of the Academic Collaboration with Arab Universities Programme, funded by the Emirates Foundation.
This project is also supported by the LSE's Knowledge Exchange and Impact Fund.
- Preventing Statelessness among Migrants and Refugee Children in North Africa: The Case of Egypt. Cairo Studies on Migration and Refugees. Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS). June 2021.
- Enregistrer les naissances pour prévenir l’apatridie. Plein droit (la revue du Gisti), Vol. 128. March 2021. [Available in English on the Blog.]
- ‘Legal identity for all’: What’s at stake for democracy in Africa. Democracy in Africa. 19 March 2021.
- ‘Legal identity’, statelessness, and private international law. Conflict of Laws. 25 January 2021.
- ‘Legal Identity for all’ and Statelessness Opportunity and Threat at the Junction of Public and Private International Law. Statelessness and Citizenship Review, 2 (2). 248–271. January 2021.
- The Sustainable Development Goals and ‘Legal Identity for all’: ‘First, do no Harm’. World Development, 139. January 2021.
- La prévention de l’apatridie chez les migrants et leurs enfants en Afrique du Nord: Rapport Maroc – 2019. AMERM, December 2019.
- Preventing Statelessness among Migrants and Refugees: Birth Registration and Consular Assistance in Egypt and Morocco. LSE Middle East Centre paper series (27), June 2019.
Download the paper in French | Download the paper in Arabic
- Why Citizenship is Relevant to Sustainable Development: Considerations for the 2019 High Level Political Forum. European Network on Statelessness, May 2019.
- Preventing Statelessness among Migrants in North Africa and their Children: Birth registration and ‘legal identity’. LSE Middle East Centre Blog (Series), May 2019.
Bronwen Manby | Principal Investigator
Bronwen is Senior Policy Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre.
Malika Benradi | Co-Principal Investigator
Malika is a Law Professor at the University Mohammed V Rabat Agdal and a member of l'Association Marocaine des Études et des Recherches sur la Migration (AMERM).
Mohamed Khachani | Co-Principal Investigator
Mohamed is Professor of Higher Education at the University Mohammed V Rabat Agdal and Secretary General of AMERM.