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SA-born migrants' children to get birth certificates

Publish date: 16 April 2018
Issue Number: 769
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Policy

Children born in SA to undocumented migrants are entitled to Home Affairs-issued birth certificates, in what a Business Day report calls a major victory for migrants and the Legal Resources Centre. The centre announced last week that, after much ‘back and forth’ with the Department of Home Affairs, the department confirmed that (it was) ... best to (issue) the DHA-19 birth certificate ...’ However, the birth certificate does not entitle its recipients to citizenship in SA. The report notes the centre intervened after being approached by a Congolese asylum seeker whose new-born son was refused a birth certificate by Home Affairs officials at the hospital where the baby was born. The centre pointed out that section 28 of the Constitution ‘provides that every child has the right to a name and nationality from birth’. It was of the view that ‘this right includes the right to have the birth registered. We argue that this right is inherent to all children, regardless of nationality or the status of their parents. This right belongs to the child and not to the parents. While this birth certificate does not give ... citizenship, it does give ... documentation, which – for many children in his position – is invaluable for accessing rights and provides him with dignity,’ it said.

Full Business Day report