Concern at Africans of no fixed abode
From ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – DISCRIMINATION against women or minority groups, administrative obstacles and lack of birth registration have been cited as the factors causing statelessness in the continent.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), has made the observation following a regional training workshop on birth registration and gender discriminatory nationality laws in Africa, organised by the WCC in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The aim of the workshop was to create a space for African church representatives to advocate for action for universal birth registration and for gender equality in nationality laws.
Segma Asfaw, WCC programme executive, said churches and faith communities had been recording important life events such as baptism, marriage or death for centuries.
“It is important to create avenues through which governments can resort to these records in cases where civil registry systems are absent or non-functioning.”
Discussions on gender equality in nationality laws focused on how churches and ecumenical partners can challenge and put an end to discriminatory practices that do not allow women to confer nationality to their children
on an equal basis with men.
The workshop brought together participants from more than 20 African countries.
It was part of a larger WCC process focusing on statelessness, in collaboration with United Nations High Commission for Human rights and United Nations Children’s Fund.
Statelessness refers to a lack of nationality.
– CAJ News
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