SA birth registration law cops flak from UN

Published Apr 12, 2017


Cape Town – The UN Committee of the Rights of the Child has castigated South Africa for not changing its Birth and Death Registration Act which discriminates against children born in this country to foreign parents.

It said the law is “problematic” because it had a “punitive or discriminatory impact on certain groups of children”.

This after the Human Rights Commission said it would review the current legislation and its impact on children born in SA of foreign parents.

The committee wants the government to review and amend all legislation and regulations “relevant to birth registration and nationality and remove discriminatory requirements.”

As a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, SA is bound to it by international law. SA is also a member of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

Lawyers for Human Rights has also weighed in on the matter, saying it has been inundated with cases of children who do not have unabridged birth certificates.

“Birth registration is the most important document, an element in ensuring that people do not become stateless. Some categories of children are entirely and expressly excluded from birth registration through the Births and Deaths Registration Act (BDRA),” said Liesl Muller from Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR).

Full story in the Cape Argus on Thursday

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