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International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by
General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966
entry into force 23 March 1976, in accordance with Article 49
Preamble

The States Parties to the present Covenant,

Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United
Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all
members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,

Recognizing that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free
human beings enjoying civil and political freedom and freedom from fear and want can only be
achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his civil and political rights, as
well as his economic, social and cultural rights,

Considering the obligation of States under the Charter of the United Nations to promote universal
respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedoms,

Realizing that the individual, having duties to other individuals and to the community to which he
belongs, is under a responsibility to strive for the promotion and observance of the rights
recognized in the present Covenant,

Agree upon the following articles:

PART I

Article 1

1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine
their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources
without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based
upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived
of its own means of subsistence.

3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the
administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the
right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the
Charter of the United Nations.

PART II

Article 2

1. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all
individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present
Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political
or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

2. Where not already provided for by existing legislative or other measures, each State Party to
the present Covenant undertakes to take the necessary steps, in accordance with its
constitutional processes and with the provisions of the present Covenant, to adopt such laws or
other measures as may be necessary to give effect to the rights recognized in the present
Covenant.

3. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes:

(a) To ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized are violated shall
have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons
acting in an official capacity;

(b) To ensure that any person claiming such a remedy shall have his right thereto determined by
competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent authority
provided for by the legal system of the State, and to develop the possibilities of judicial remedy;

(c) To ensure that the competent authorities shall enforce such remedies when granted.

Article 3

The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and
women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights set forth in the present Covenant.

Article 4

1 . In time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which
is officially proclaimed, the States Parties to the present Covenant may take measures
derogating from their obligations under the present Covenant to the extent strictly required by
the exigencies of the situation, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with their other
obligations under international law and do not involve discrimination solely on the ground of
race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin.

2. No derogation from articles 6, 7, 8 (paragraphs I and 2), 11, 15, 16 and 18 may be made
under this provision.

3. Any State Party to the present Covenant availing itself of the right of derogation shall
immediately inform the other States Parties to the present Covenant, through the intermediary
of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, of the provisions from which it has derogated
and of the reasons by which it was actuated. A further communication shall be made, through
the same intermediary, on the date on which it terminates such derogation.

Article 5

1. Nothing in the present Covenant may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or
person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of
the rights and freedoms recognized herein or at their limitation to a greater extent than is
provided for in the present Covenant.

2. There shall be no restriction upon or derogation from any of the fundamental human rights
recognized or existing in any State Party to the present Covenant pursuant to law, conventions,
regulations or custom on the pretext that the present Covenant does not recognize such rights or
that it recognizes them to a lesser extent.
PART III

Article 6

1. Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one
shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.

2. In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed
only for the most serious crimes in accordance with the law in force at the time of the

commission of the crime and not contrary to the provisions of the present Covenant and to the
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This penalty can only be
carried out pursuant to a final judgement rendered by a competent court.

3. When deprivation of life constitutes the crime of genocide, it is understood that nothing in this
article shall authorize any State Party to the present Covenant to derogate in any way from any
obligation assumed under the provisions of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of
the Crime of Genocide.

4. Anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or commutation of the
sentence. Amnesty, pardon or commutation of the sentence of death may be granted in all
cases.

5. Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen
years of age and shall not be carried out on pregnant women.

6. Nothing in this article shall be invoked to delay or to prevent the abolition of capital
punishment by any State Party to the present Covenant.
Article 7

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific
experimentation.

Article 8

1. No one shall be held in slavery; slavery and the slave-trade in all their forms shall be
prohibited.

2. No one shall be held in servitude.

3.

(a) No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour;

(b) Paragraph 3 (a) shall not be held to preclude, in countries where imprisonment with hard
labour may be imposed as a punishment for a crime, the performance of hard labour in
pursuance of a sentence to such punishment by a competent court;
(c) For the purpose of this paragraph the term "forced or compulsory labour" shall not include:

(i) Any work or service, not referred to in subparagraph (b), normally required of a person who is
under detention in consequence of a lawful order of a court, or of a person during conditional
release from such detention;

(ii) Any service of a military character and, in countries where conscientious objection is
recognized, any national service required by law of conscientious objectors;

(iii) Any service exacted in cases of emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of
the community;

(iv) Any work or service which forms part of normal civil obligations.

Article 9

1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary
arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in
accordance with such procedure as are established by law.

2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest
and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.

3. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or
other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a
reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be
detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other
stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement.

4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take
proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness
of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.

5. Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable
right to compensation.

Article 10

1. All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the
inherent dignity of the human person.

2.

(a) Accused persons shall, save in exceptional circumstances, be segregated from convicted
persons and shall be subject to separate treatment appropriate to their status as unconvicted
persons;

(b) Accused juvenile persons shall be separated from adults and brought as speedily as possible
for adjudication.

3. The penitentiary system shall comprise treatment of prisoners the essential aim of which shall
be their reformation and social rehabilitation. Juvenile offenders shall be segregated from adults
and be accorded treatment appropriate to their age and legal status.

Article 11

No one shall be imprisoned merely on the ground of inability to fulfil a contractual obligation.
Article 12

1. Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to
liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.

2. Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.

3. The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are
provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public
health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights
recognized in the present Covenant.

4. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.

Article 13

An alien lawfully in the territory of a State Party to the present Covenant may be expelled
therefrom only in pursuance of a decision reached in accordance with law and shall, except
where compelling reasons of national security otherwise require, be allowed to submit the
reasons against his expulsion and to have his case reviewed by, and be represented for the
purpose before, the competent authority or a person or persons especially designated by the
competent authority.

Article 14

1. All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal
charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to
a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law.

The press and the public may be excluded from all or part of a trial for reasons of morals, public
order (ordre public) or national security in a democratic society, or when the interest of the
private lives of the parties so requires, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the
court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice; but any
judgement rendered in a criminal case or in a suit at law shall be made public except where the
interest of juvenile persons otherwise requires or the proceedings concern matrimonial disputes
or the guardianship of children.

2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until
proved guilty according to law.

3. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, everyone shall be entitled to the
following minimum guarantees, in full equality: (a) To be informed promptly and in detail in a
language which he understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him;

(b) To have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence and to communicate
with counsel of his own choosing;

(c) To be tried without undue delay;

(d) To be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his
own choosing; to be informed, if he does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have
legal assistance assigned to him, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and
without payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient means to pay for it;

(e) To examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and
examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;

(f) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language
used in court;

(g) Not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt.

4. In the case of juvenile persons, the procedure shall be such as will take account of their age
and the desirability of promoting their rehabilitation.
5. Everyone convicted of a crime shall have the right to his conviction and sentence being
reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law.

6. When a person has by a final decision been convicted of a criminal offence and when
subsequently his conviction has been reversed or he has been pardoned on the ground that a
new or newly discovered fact shows conclusively that there has been a miscarriage of justice, the
person who has suffered punishment as a result of such conviction shall be compensated
according to law, unless it is proved that the non-disclosure of the unknown fact in time is wholly
or partly attributable to him.

7. No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already
been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each
country.

Article 15

1 . No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which
did not constitute a criminal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was
committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time
when the criminal offence was committed. If, subsequent to the commission of the offence,
provision is made by law for the imposition of the lighter penalty, the offender shall benefit
thereby.

2. Nothing in this article shall prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or
omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general
principles of law recognized by the community of nations.

when applicable. public order (ordre public). Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law. Article 17 1. Article 19 1. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. either orally. legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions. 3. 2. Article 21 The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. home or correspondence. or through any other media of his choice. the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. regardless of frontiers. 2. racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination. (b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public). or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and. practice and teaching. conscience and religion. 2. family. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions. or of public health or morals. nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation. hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression. 2. but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary: (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others. and freedom. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety. to manifest his religion or belief in worship. Any advocacy of national. Article 22 . either individually or in community with others and in public or private. health. 4. Article 20 1. observance. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice. in writing or in print. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought.Article 16 Everyone shall have the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. 3. in the form of art. Article 18 1. receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds. order. this right shall include freedom to seek. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety.

national or social origin. public order (ordre public). No marriage shall be entered into without the free and full consent of the intending spouses. 2. without any of the distinctions mentioned in article 2 and without unreasonable restrictions: (a) To take part in the conduct of public affairs. religion. Every child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have a name. Every child shall have. during marriage and at its dissolution. 3. language. In the case of dissolution. sex. property. property or birth. 3. Nothing in this article shall authorize States Parties to the International Labour Organisation Convention of 1948 concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize to take legislative measures which would prejudice. or to apply the law in such a manner as to prejudice. to public service in his country. religion. the guarantees provided for in that Convention. the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race. the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor. 2. (c) To have access. national or social origin. provision shall be made for the necessary protection of any children. 2. Article 27 . Article 23 1. Article 25 Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity. political or other opinion. 4. The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognized. society and the State. including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on members of the armed forces and of the police in their exercise of this right. (b) To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot. birth or other status. without any discrimination as to race. colour. States Parties to the present Covenant shall take appropriate steps to ensure equality of rights and responsibilities of spouses as to marriage. on general terms of equality. the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. 3. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of association with others. Article 26 All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. language. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those which are prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety. sex. In this respect. Article 24 1. colour. on the part of his family. guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors.1. directly or through freely chosen representatives. Every child has the right to acquire a nationality.

3. The Committee may not include more than one national of the same State. to profess and practise their own religion. with an indication of the States Parties which have nominated them. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons possessing the qualifications prescribed in article 28 and nominated for the purpose by the States Parties to the present Covenant. PART IV Article 28 1. consideration being given to the usefulness of the participation of some persons having legal experience. and shall submit it to the States Parties to the present Covenant no later than one month before the date of each election. Elections of the members of the Committee shall be held at a meeting of the States Parties to the present Covenant convened by the Secretary General of the United Nations at the Headquarters of the United Nations. Article 29 1. to enjoy their own culture. There shall be established a Human Rights Committee (hereafter referred to in the present Covenant as the Committee). At that meeting. At least four months before the date of each election to the Committee. other than an election to fill a vacancy declared in accordance with article 34. 4. or to use their own language. In the election of the Committee. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of all the persons thus nominated. 2. The initial election shall be held no later than six months after the date of the entry into force of the present Covenant. for which two thirds of the States Parties to the present Covenant shall constitute a quorum. These persons shall be nationals of the nominating State. 3. 3. in community with the other members of their group. A person shall be eligible for renomination. 2. consideration shall be given to equitable geographical distribution of membership and to the representation of the different forms of civilization and of the principal legal systems. It shall consist of eighteen members and shall carry out the functions hereinafter provided. persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right. 2. The Committee shall be composed of nationals of the States Parties to the present Covenant who shall be persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights. The members of the Committee shall be elected and shall serve in their personal capacity. the persons elected to the Committee shall be those nominees who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and voting. religious or linguistic minorities exist. Article 32 . 2. Each State Party to the present Covenant may nominate not more than two persons.In those States in which ethnic. Article 30 1. the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a written invitation to the States Parties to the present Covenant to submit their nominations for membership of the Committee within three months. Article 31 1.

receive emoluments from United Nations resources on such terms and conditions as the General Assembly may decide. In the event of the death or the resignation of a member of the Committee. Article 37 1. 2. Elections at the expiry of office shall be held in accordance with the preceding articles of this part of the present Covenant. a member of the Committee has ceased to carry out his functions for any cause other than absence of a temporary character. the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify each of the States Parties to the present Covenant. in the unanimous opinion of the other members. After its initial meeting. They shall be eligible for re-election if renominated. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of the persons thus nominated and shall submit it to the States Parties to the present Covenant. the terms of nine of the members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two years. Article 38 . The Committee shall normally meet at the Headquarters of the United Nations or at the United Nations Office at Geneva. Article 35 The members of the Committee shall. If. 2. The election to fill the vacancy shall then take place in accordance with the relevant provisions of this part of the present Covenant. A member of the Committee elected to fill a vacancy declared in accordance with article 33 shall hold office for the remainder of the term of the member who vacated the seat on the Committee under the provisions of that article. the Committee shall meet at such times as shall be provided in its rules of procedure. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall convene the initial meeting of the Committee at the Headquarters of the United Nations.1. 3. When a vacancy is declared in accordance with article 33 and if the term of office of the member to be replaced does not expire within six months of the declaration of the vacancy. 2. the Chairman shall immediately notify the Secretary-General of the United Nations. having regard to the importance of the Committee's responsibilities. which may within two months submit nominations in accordance with article 29 for the purpose of filling the vacancy. the names of these nine members shall be chosen by lot by the Chairman of the meeting referred to in article 30. However. 3. with the approval of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Article 36 The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary staff and facilities for the effective performance of the functions of the Committee under the present Covenant. The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. immediately after the first election. 2. the Chairman of the Committee shall notify the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Article 34 1. who shall then declare the seat of that member to be vacant. paragraph 4. Article 33 1. who shall declare the seat vacant from the date of death or the date on which the resignation takes effect.

Reports shall indicate the factors and difficulties.Every member of the Committee shall. 2. but these rules shall provide. after consultation with the Committee. The Committee shall elect its officers for a term of two years. 4. The States Parties to the present Covenant may submit to the Committee observations on any comments that may be made in accordance with paragraph 4 of this article. Within three months after the receipt of the communication the receiving State shall afford the State which sent the communication an explanation. transmit to the specialized agencies concerned copies of such parts of the reports as may fall within their field of competence. Article 40 1. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure. it may. who shall transmit them to the Committee for consideration. bring the matter to the attention of that State Party. (b) If the matter is not adjusted to the satisfaction of both States Parties concerned within six months after the receipt by the receiving State of the initial communication. to the States Parties. Article 41 1. (b) Decisions of the Committee shall be made by a majority vote of the members present. reference to domestic procedures and remedies taken. if any. inter alia. Article 39 1. pending. either State shall . The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to submit reports on the measures they have adopted which give effect to the rights recognized herein and on the progress made in the enjoyment of those rights: (a) Within one year of the entry into force of the present Covenant for the States Parties concerned. The Committee shall study the reports submitted by the States Parties to the present Covenant. Communications received under this article shall be dealt with in accordance with the following procedure: (a) If a State Party to the present Covenant considers that another State Party is not giving effect to the provisions of the present Covenant. The Committee may also transmit to the Economic and Social Council these comments along with the copies of the reports it has received from States Parties to the present Covenant. by written communication. affecting the implementation of the present Covenant. make a solemn declaration in open committee that he will perform his functions impartially and conscientiously. All reports shall be submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. 2. and such general comments as it may consider appropriate. before taking up his duties. or available in the matter. or any other statement in writing clarifying the matter which should include. that: (a) Twelve members shall constitute a quorum. A State Party to the present Covenant may at any time declare under this article that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications to the effect that a State Party claims that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations under the present Covenant. It shall transmit its reports. (b) Thereafter whenever the Committee so requests. 5. No communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party which has not made such a declaration. to the extent possible and pertinent. The Secretary-General of the United Nations may. 3. Communications under this article may be received and considered only if submitted by a State Party which has made a declaration recognizing in regard to itself the competence of the Committee. They may be re-elected.

submit a report: (i) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (e) is reached. with the prior consent of the States Parties concerned. the Committee shall make available its good offices to the States Parties concerned with a view to a friendly solution of the matter on the basis of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the present Covenant. (h) The Committee shall. (d) The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under this article. This shall not be the rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged. (g) The States Parties concerned. . 2. no further communication by any State Party shall be received after the notification of withdrawal of the declaration has been received by the Secretary-General. (a) If a matter referred to the Committee in accordance with article 41 is not resolved to the satisfaction of the States Parties concerned. Such declarations shall be deposited by the States Parties with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts. A declaration may be withdrawn at any time by notification to the Secretary-General. The provisions of this article shall come into force when ten States Parties to the present Covenant have made declarations under paragraph I of this article. referred to in subparagraph (b). (c) The Committee shall deal with a matter referred to it only after it has ascertained that all available domestic remedies have been invoked and exhausted in the matter. (f) In any matter referred to it. the members of the Commission concerning whom no agreement has been reached shall be elected by secret ballot by a two-thirds majority vote of the Committee from among its members. the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts and of the solution reached. the Committee may call upon the States Parties concerned. in conformity with the generally recognized principles of international law. The good offices of the Commission shall be made available to the States Parties concerned with a view to an amicable solution of the matter on the basis of respect for the present Covenant. the Committee may. If the States Parties concerned fail to reach agreement within three months on all or part of the composition of the Commission. to supply any relevant information. the written submissions and record of the oral submissions made by the States Parties concerned shall be attached to the report. In every matter.have the right to refer the matter to the Committee. who shall transmit copies thereof to the other States Parties. unless the State Party concerned has made a new declaration. referred to in subparagraph (b). by notice given to the Committee and to the other State. (e) Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (c). appoint an ad hoc Conciliation Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Commission). Such a withdrawal shall not prejudice the consideration of any matter which is the subject of a communication already transmitted under this article. Article 42 1. the report shall be communicated to the States Parties concerned. shall have the right to be represented when the matter is being considered in the Committee and to make submissions orally and/or in writing. within twelve months after the date of receipt of notice under subparagraph (b). (ii) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (e) is not reached. (b) The Commission shall consist of five persons acceptable to the States Parties concerned.

Article 44 . the Commission shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts and of the solution reached. However. The secretariat provided in accordance with article 36 shall also service the commissions appointed under this article. within three months of the receipt of the report. privileges and immunities of experts on mission for the United Nations as laid down in the relevant sections of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations. They shall not be nationals of the States Parties concerned. When the Commission has fully considered the matter. (d) If the Commission's report is submitted under subparagraph (c). (c) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (b) is not reached. or of a State not Party to the present Covenant. 10. The information received and collated by the Committee shall be made available to the Commission and the Commission may call upon the States Parties concerned to supply any other relevant information. they may be held at such other convenient places as the Commission may determine in consultation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the States Parties concerned. This report shall also contain the written submissions and a record of the oral submissions made by the States Parties concerned. if necessary. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall be empowered to pay the expenses of the members of the Commission. before reimbursement by the States Parties concerned. in accordance with paragraph 9 of this article. it shall submit to the Chairman of the Committee a report for communication to the States Parties concerned: (a) If the Commission is unable to complete its consideration of the matter within twelve months. or of a State Party which has not made a declaration under article 41. 5. The Commission shall elect its own Chairman and adopt its own rules of procedure. but in any event not later than twelve months after having been seized of the matter. and its views on the possibilities of an amicable solution of the matter. The members of the Commission shall serve in their personal capacity. notify the Chairman of the Committee whether or not they accept the contents of the report of the Commission. The meetings of the Commission shall normally be held at the Headquarters of the United Nations or at the United Nations Office at Geneva. The provisions of this article are without prejudice to the responsibilities of the Committee under article 41. and of the ad hoc conciliation commissions which may be appointed under article 42. 7. shall be entitled to the facilities. 9. The States Parties concerned shall share equally all the expenses of the members of the Commission in accordance with estimates to be provided by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. 6. Article 43 The members of the Committee. 4. the States Parties concerned shall. 3. 8. the Commission's report shall embody its findings on all questions of fact relevant to the issues between the States Parties concerned. (b) If an amicable solution to the matter on tie basis of respect for human rights as recognized in the present Covenant is reached. it shall confine its report to a brief statement of the status of its consideration of the matter.2.

by any State Party to the Statute of the International Court of Justice. 4. Article 49 1. an annual report on its activities. Article 47 Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the inherent right of all peoples to enjoy and utilize fully and freely their natural wealth and resources. The present Covenant shall be open to accession by any State referred to in paragraph 1 of this article. and by any other State which has been invited by the General Assembly of the United Nations to become a Party to the present Covenant. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States which have signed this Covenant or acceded to it of the deposit of each instrument of ratification or accession. PART V Article 46 Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and of the constitutions of the specialized agencies which define the respective responsibilities of the various organs of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies in regard to the matters dealt with in the present Covenant. Article 45 The Committee shall submit to the General Assembly of the United Nations. the present Covenant shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or instrument of accession. 2. Article 51 . Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary- General of the United Nations. PART VI Article 48 1. 2.The provisions for the implementation of the present Covenant shall apply without prejudice to the procedures prescribed in the field of human rights by or under the constituent instruments and the conventions of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies and shall not prevent the States Parties to the present Covenant from having recourse to other procedures for settling a dispute in accordance with general or special international agreements in force between them. For each State ratifying the present Covenant or acceding to it after the deposit of the thirty- fifth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession. through the Economic and Social Council. Article 50 The provisions of the present Covenant shall extend to all parts of federal States without any limitations or exceptions. 3. The present Covenant shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession. The present Covenant is open for signature by any State Member of the United Nations or member of any of its specialized agencies. The present Covenant is subject to ratification. 5. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

in accordance with article 27 Preamble The States Parties to the present Covenant. . Article 53 1. International Covenant on Economic. shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations. 3. In the event that at least one third of the States Parties favours such a conference. Social and Cultural Rights Adopted and opened for signature. (b) The date of the entry into force of the present Covenant under article 49 and the date of the entry into force of any amendments under article 51. English. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present Covenant to all States referred to in article 48. ratifications and accessions under article 48. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall thereupon communicate any proposed amendments to the States Parties to the present Covenant with a request that they notify him whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the proposals. The present Covenant. other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present Covenant and any earlier amendment which they have accepted. When amendments come into force. Article 52 1. the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States referred to in paragraph I of the same article of the following particulars: (a) Signatures. justice and peace in the world. Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic.1. they shall be binding on those States Parties which have accepted them. Any State Party to the present Covenant may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. French. 2. 2. Irrespective of the notifications made under article 48. the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations. Amendments shall come into force when they have been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the States Parties to the present Covenant in accordance with their respective constitutional processes. ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966 entry into force 3 January 1976. of which the Chinese. paragraph 5. Any amendment adopted by a majority of the States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations for approval. recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom. Considering that.

and shall respect that right. and observance of. human rights and freedoms. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence. language. having duties to other individuals and to the community to which he belongs. national or social origin.Recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person. colour. 2. as well as his civil and political rights. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to guarantee that the rights enunciated in the present Covenant will be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race. social and cultural rights. Article 3 The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic. 2. religion. Article 4 The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that. political or other opinion. including particularly the adoption of legislative measures. the State may subject such . By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic. with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Covenant by all appropriate means. Realizing that the individual. in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. Recognizing that. social and cultural development. in the enjoyment of those rights provided by the State in conformity with the present Covenant. birth or other status. in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. and international law. to the maximum of its available resources. 3. the ideal of free human beings enjoying freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his economic. is under a responsibility to strive for the promotion and observance of the rights recognized in the present Covenant. may determine to what extent they would guarantee the economic rights recognized in the present Covenant to non-nationals. based upon the principle of mutual benefit. for their own ends. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take steps. 3. freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation. sex. with due regard to human rights and their national economy. social and cultural rights set forth in the present Covenant. Agree upon the following articles: PART I Article 1 1. All peoples may. PART II Article 2 1. shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination. All peoples have the right of self-determination. The States Parties to the present Covenant. Developing countries. property. individually and through international assistance and co-operation. including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories. Considering the obligation of States under the Charter of the United Nations to promote universal respect for. especially economic and technical.

conventions. Article 5 1. Article 7 The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work which ensure. No restriction upon or derogation from any of the fundamental human rights recognized or existing in any country in virtue of law. 2. regulations or custom shall be admitted on the pretext that the present Covenant does not recognize such rights or that it recognizes them to a lesser extent. PART III Article 6 1. leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay. as well as remuneration for public holidays Article 8 1. which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts. subject only to the rules of the organization concerned. group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights or freedoms recognized herein. Nothing in the present Covenant may be interpreted as implying for any State. as a minimum. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public order or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. . policies and techniques to achieve steady economic. with: (i) Fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without distinction of any kind. for the promotion and protection of his economic and social interests. (b) Safe and healthy working conditions. social and cultural development and full and productive employment under conditions safeguarding fundamental political and economic freedoms to the individual. and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right. The steps to be taken by a State Party to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include technical and vocational guidance and training programmes. (c) Equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted in his employment to an appropriate higher level.rights only to such limitations as are determined by law only in so far as this may be compatible with the nature of these rights and solely for the purpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society. (d ) Rest. or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the present Covenant. 2. in particular: (a) Remuneration which provides all workers. in particular women being guaranteed conditions of work not inferior to those enjoyed by men. with equal pay for equal work. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure: (a) The right of everyone to form trade unions and join the trade union of his choice. subject to no considerations other than those of seniority and competence. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work. (ii) A decent living for themselves and their families in accordance with the provisions of the present Covenant.

the measures. including specific programmes. (c) The right of trade unions to function freely subject to no limitations other than those prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public order or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international co-operation based on free consent. the guarantees provided for in that Convention. Marriage must be entered into with the free consent of the intending spouses.(b) The right of trade unions to establish national federations or confederations and the right of the latter to form or join international trade-union organizations. 3. recognizing the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger. Special measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf of all children and young persons without any discrimination for reasons of parentage or other conditions. shall take. 2. including adequate food. or apply the law in such a manner as would prejudice. provided that it is exercised in conformity with the laws of the particular country. Article 10 The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that: 1. During such period working mothers should be accorded paid leave or leave with adequate social security benefits. 3. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces or of the police or of the administration of the State. The States Parties to the present Covenant. by disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by developing or reforming agrarian systems in such a way as to achieve the most efficient development and utilization of natural resources. 2. clothing and housing. which are needed: (a) To improve methods of production. particularly for its establishment and while it is responsible for the care and education of dependent children. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family. individually and through international co-operation. Special protection should be accorded to mothers during a reasonable period before and after childbirth. Nothing in this article shall authorize States Parties to the International Labour Organisation Convention of 1948 concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize to take legislative measures which would prejudice. 2. Article 9 The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to social security. Their employment in work harmful to their morals or health or dangerous to life or likely to hamper their normal development should be punishable by law. Children and young persons should be protected from economic and social exploitation. Article 11 1. and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. . The widest possible protection and assistance should be accorded to the family. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right. to ensure an equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation to need. (d) The right to strike. (b) Taking into account the problems of both food-importing and food-exporting countries. States should also set age limits below which the paid employment of child labour should be prohibited and punishable by law. conservation and distribution of food by making full use of technical and scientific knowledge. which is the natural and fundamental group unit of society. including social insurance.

by every appropriate means. and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education. including technical and vocational secondary education. and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education. (c) The prevention. which conform to such minimum educational standards as may be laid down or approved by the State and to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions. promote understanding. and shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. subject always to the observance of the principles set forth in paragraph I of this article and to the requirement that the education given in such institutions shall conform to such minimum standards as may be laid down by the State. shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means.Article 12 1. The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include those necessary for: (a) The provision for the reduction of the stillbirth-rate and of infant mortality and for the healthy development of the child. They further agree that education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society. (c) Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all. and further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. (b) Secondary education in its different forms. (e) The development of a system of schools at all levels shall be actively pursued. when applicable. 2. an adequate fellowship system shall be established. tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial. They agree that education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity. on the basis of capacity. legal guardians to choose for their children schools. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to education. other than those established by the public authorities. (d) The creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that. (b) The improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene. 2. occupational and other diseases. treatment and control of epidemic. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. No part of this article shall be construed so as to interfere with the liberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational institutions. and the material conditions of teaching staff shall be continuously improved. Article 13 1. 4. (d) Fundamental education shall be encouraged or intensified as far as possible for those persons who have not received or completed the whole period of their primary education. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and. ethnic or religious groups. endemic. with a view to achieving the full realization of this right: (a) Primary education shall be compulsory and available free to all. 3. Article 14 .

Article 17 1. to be fixed in the plan. relate to any matters which fall within the responsibilities of the said agencies in accordance with their constitutional instruments. 2. PART IV Article 16 1. in accordance with a programme to be established by the Economic and Social Council within one year of the entry into force of the present Covenant after consultation with the States Parties and the specialized agencies concerned. undertakes. (c) To benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone: (a) To take part in cultural life. of the principle of compulsory education free of charge for all. Article 18 . Article 15 1. within two years. Reports may indicate factors and difficulties affecting the degree of fulfilment of obligations under the present Covenant.Each State Party to the present Covenant which. (b) The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall also transmit to the specialized agencies copies of the reports. it will not be necessary to reproduce that information. at the time of becoming a Party. 2. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to respect the freedom indispensable for scientific research and creative activity. to work out and adopt a detailed plan of action for the progressive implementation. 3. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to submit in conformity with this part of the Covenant reports on the measures which they have adopted and the progress made in achieving the observance of the rights recognized herein. (b) To enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications. literary or artistic production of which he is the author. 4. or parts therefrom. (a) All reports shall be submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. free of charge. or any relevant parts therefrom. 3. the development and the diffusion of science and culture. The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include those necessary for the conservation. has not been able to secure in its metropolitan territory or other territories under its jurisdiction compulsory primary education. The States Parties to the present Covenant shall furnish their reports in stages. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the benefits to be derived from the encouragement and development of international contacts and co-operation in the scientific and cultural fields. from States Parties to the present Covenant which are also members of these specialized agencies in so far as these reports. but a precise reference to the information so furnished will suffice. Where relevant information has previously been furnished to the United Nations or to any specialized agency by any State Party to the present Covenant. 2. within a reasonable number of years. who shall transmit copies to the Economic and Social Council for consideration in accordance with the provisions of the present Covenant.

for information the reports concerning human rights submitted by States in accordance with articles 16 and 17. and those concerning human rights submitted by the specialized agencies in accordance with article 18. PART V Article 26 . on the advisability of international measures likely to contribute to the effective progressive implementation of the present Covenant. the furnishing of technical assistance and the holding of regional meetings and technical meetings for the purpose of consultation and study organized in conjunction with the Governments concerned. Article 24 Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and of the constitutions of the specialized agencies which define the respective responsibilities of the various organs of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies in regard to the matters dealt with in the present Covenant. These reports may include particulars of decisions and recommendations on such implementation adopted by their competent organs. as appropriate. the Economic and Social Council may make arrangements with the specialized agencies in respect of their reporting to it on the progress made in achieving the observance of the provisions of the present Covenant falling within the scope of their activities. Article 23 The States Parties to the present Covenant agree that international action for the achievement of the rights recognized in the present Covenant includes such methods as the conclusion of conventions. each within its field of competence. Article 25 Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the inherent right of all peoples to enjoy and utilize fully and freely their natural wealth and resources. Article 22 The Economic and Social Council may bring to the attention of other organs of the United Nations. the adoption of recommendations. Article 21 The Economic and Social Council may submit from time to time to the General Assembly reports with recommendations of a general nature and a summary of the information received from the States Parties to the present Covenant and the specialized agencies on the measures taken and the progress made in achieving general observance of the rights recognized in the present Covenant. their subsidiary organs and specialized agencies concerned with furnishing technical assistance any matters arising out of the reports referred to in this part of the present Covenant which may assist such bodies in deciding. Article 20 The States Parties to the present Covenant and the specialized agencies concerned may submit comments to the Economic and Social Council on any general recommendation under article 19 or reference to such general recommendation in any report of the Commission on Human Rights or any documentation referred to therein.Pursuant to its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Article 19 The Economic and Social Council may transmit to the Commission on Human Rights for study and general recommendation or.

In the event that at least one third of the States Parties favours such a conference. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary- General of the United Nations. 4. Article 30 Irrespective of the notifications made under article 26. The present Covenant is subject to ratification. Article 27 1. Article 29 1. 2. paragraph 5. Amendments shall come into force when they have been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the States Parties to the present Covenant in accordance with their respective constitutional processes. Article 28 The provisions of the present Covenant shall extend to all parts of federal States without any limitations or exceptions. ratifications and accessions under article 26. 2. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate any proposed amendments to the States Parties to the present Covenant with a request that they notify him whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the proposals. When amendments come into force they shall be binding on those States Parties which have accepted them. the present Covenant shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or instrument of accession. Any State Party to the present Covenant may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. For each State ratifying the present Covenant or acceding to it after the deposit of the thirty- fifth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States which have signed the present Covenant or acceded to it of the deposit of each instrument of ratification or accession. 2. the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. 5. Any amendment adopted by a majority of the States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations for approval. the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States referred to in paragraph I of the same article of the following particulars: (a) Signatures. 3. (b) The date of the entry into force of the present Covenant under article 27 and the date of the entry into force of any amendments under article 29. 3. The present Covenant is open for signature by any State Member of the United Nations or member of any of its specialized agencies. by any State Party to the Statute of the International Court of Justice. The present Covenant shall be open to accession by any State referred to in paragraph 1 of this article. The present Covenant shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession. other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present Covenant and any earlier amendment which they have accepted.1. . and by any other State which has been invited by the General Assembly of the United Nations to become a party to the present Covenant.

If challenging the present basis for a detention. its duration. S. How Does Habeas Corpus Work? Defendants who are considering challenging the legal basis of their imprisonment. a writ of habeas corpus could lead to relief such as:  Release from custody. The present Covenant. especially where there are disputed facts. During the hearing. authorities may take citizens and incarcerate them for months or years without charging them. The U. the parties (the prisoner and the government) can present evidence and the court may also issue and enforce subpoenas in order to obtain and examine evidence. Writ of Habeas Corpus 28 5870 In many countries. 2. Constitution wanted to prohibit this kind of occurrence in the new United States. shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations. the court will usually appoint an attorney to represent the prisoner." A writ of habeas corpus (which literally means to "produce the body") is a court order to a person or agency holding someone in custody (such as a warden) to deliver the imprisoned individual to the court issuing the order and to show a valid reason for that person's detention. they included a clause in the Constitution that allows courts to issue writs of habeas corpus. Sometimes. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present Covenant to all States referred to in article 26. Those imprisoned have no legal means by which they can protest or challenge the imprisonment. a prisoner may include evidence that his or her sentence was miscalculated or that good time credits earned by the prisoner were not properly awarded. of which the Chinese.  An order halting illegal conditions of confinement.  Reduction in a prison sentence. Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic. If granted. English. or  A declaration of rights. Therefore. the court may hold an evidentiary hearing before ruling on a writ of habeas corpus. Many states also recognize writs of habeas corpus in addition to the federal government. S.Article 31 1. The framers of the U. If an evidentiary hearing is held. Constitution also specifically prohibits the government from suspending proceedings for writs of habeas corpus except under extraordinary circumstances such as during times of war. Limitations of Habeas Corpus . French. or certain conditions of confinement may seek relief from a court by filing an application for a "writ of habeas corpus.

Writ of Amparo Recurso de amparo From Wikipedia. predominantly those of the Spanish-speaking world. However. prisoners are normally required to first exhaust any available relief in the state courts before seeking relief in federal courts. Habeas corpus From Wikipedia.S. Thus. the Prison Litigation Reform Act requires that prisoners first exhaust all administrative grievance procedures before filing their complaint. Specifically. This right originated in the English legal system to assist wealthy landowners. it does have its limitations. detention lacking sufficient cause or evidence. the amparo remedy or action is an effective and inexpensive instrument for the protection of individual rights. However. in many cases where prisoners are challenging the conditions of their confinement. prisoners can file their complaint in either state or federal court. constitutional remedies such as the writ of security available in Brazil and the constitutional complaint (Verfassungsbeschwerde) procedure found in Germany. they may be required to use the civil rights complaint process instead of habeas corpus. such as the Eighth Amendment. serves a dual protective purpose: it protects the citizen and his basic guarantees.While Habeas Corpus allows prisoners to challenge the fact of their present confinement. Amparo. is being violated. When it comes to appealing guilty verdicts. and protects the constitution itself by ensuring that its principles are not violated by statutes or actions of the state that undermine the basic rights enshrined therein. The legal right to apply for a habeas corpus is also called by the same name. In some legal systems. the free encyclopedia The writ of amparo (also called recurso de amparo or juicio de amparo) is a remedy for the protection of constitutional rights. the free encyclopedia Habeas corpus . found in certain jurisdictions. It has historically been an important legal instrument safeguarding individual freedom of certain individuals against arbitrary state action. these writs cannot be used to challenge a finding of guilt as that is reserved for the criminal appeal process. In many countries. Also. amparo protects other basic rights. The remedy can be sought by the prisoner or by another person coming to the prisoner’s aid. in some respects. Latin: “you must present the person in court”) is a writ (legal action) which requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court. It resembles. This ensures that a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention. when seeking to remedy violations of their constitutional rights while in confinement. but it is now available in many nations. It may therefore be invoked by any person who believes that any of his rights. constitution. in the same way that habeas corpus guarantees physical freedom. They can bypass state courts with these complaints because they typically include claims under provisions of the U. which may be protected instead by habeas corpus remedies. in other words. an amparo action is intended to protect all rights other than physical liberty. . generally granted by a supreme or constitutional court. when challenging conditions of confinement through a civil rights complaint. implicitly or explicitly protected by the constitution (or by applicable international treaties).

Failing this. in some Spanish-speaking nations. or another person acting on his or her behalf. may petition the court. The right to petition for a writ of habeas corpus has nonetheless long been celebrated as the most efficient safeguard of the liberty of the subject. in many countries. the process may be suspended due to a national emergency. or ” prerogative writs”. If the custodian does not have authority to detain the prisoner. The official who is the respondent has the burden to prove his authority to do or not do something. but it does not necessarily protect other rights. the equivalent remedy for unlawful imprisonment is the amparo de libertad (‘protection of freedom’). Habeas corpus has certain limitations. it is addressed to the custodian (a prison official for example) and demands that a prisoner be taken before the court. The writ of habeas corpus is one of what are called the “extraordinary”. and that the custodian present proof of authority. who may be any person. 2015 By Dean Ralph A. Furthermore. is a summons with the force of a court order. but they are for practical purposes worth a hundred constitutional articles guaranteeing individual liberty”. which were historically issued by the English courts in the name of the monarch to control inferior courts and public authorities within the kingdom. The most common of the other such prerogative writs are quo warranto. and certiorari. Most civil law jurisdictions provide a similar remedy for those unlawfully detained. then they must be released from custody. The Right to Nationality of Foundlings in International Law Posted on December 3. “common law”. For example. mandamus. such as the entitlement to a fair trial. not just an interested party.A writ of habeas corpus. Sarmiento[1] Contents Introduction Nationality Statelessness . and bears the burden of proof. The due process for such petitions is not simply civil or criminal. prohibito. for a writ of habeas corpus. So if an imposition such as internment without trial is permitted by the law then habeas corpus may not be a useful remedy. but this is not always called “habeas corpus”. One reason for the writ to be sought by a person other than the prisoner is that the detainee might be held incommunicado. This differs from a motion in a civil process in which the movant must have standing. it is a guarantee against any detention that is forbidden by law. allowing the court to determine whether the custodian has lawful authority to detain the person. also known as the Great Writ. procedendo. The prisoner. It is technically only a procedural remedy. the court must decide for the petitioner. because they incorporate the presumption of non-authority. The jurist Albert Venn Dicey wrote that the British Habeas Corpus Acts “declare no principle and define no rights. or a judge.

S. citizens. Most States consider citizenship. it focuses on the issue of whether International Law affords foundlings the right to be considered nationals of the State in which they are found. nationals are U.[2] It must be an infant at the time it was found abandoned.S. its relatives being unknown. For example. Under U.) and Russia are two of the notable exceptions.S. on the other hand. The fourth section will determine if the existing practices or rules that confer nationality on foundlings have attained the status of customary international law and. a foundling is a child of unknown parentage found abandoned on the territory of a State.“[3] The Oxford English Dictionary also uses the term infant in defining foundling.S. this article will show that the obligation of a State to confer its nationality upon a foundling in its territory exists only as a matter of treaty obligation in International Law. therefore. binding upon all States. which is the term that is commonly used in municipal or national law.”[4] The word infant. This article is structured as follows: The first section will talk about nationality and discuss the different principles of acquiring a nationality and the corresponding obligations of States. The second section will talk about statelessness and the measures taken States to reduce it.[6] Under Russian law. and whether States have a binding obligation to confer their nationality on foundlings found in their territory. as synonymous with nationality. the terms nationality and citizenship shall be used interchangeably and without distinction. The third section will examine the rules that confer nationality on foundlings in international conventions and treaties. a child without a parent or guardian. For purposes of this article. The Black’s Law Dictionary defines a foundling as “a deserted or abandoned infant. In particular.S. In particular.”[5] This article will argue that there are gaps in International Law that result in inadequate protection and implementation of the right of foundlings to a nationality. Constitution and its laws.The Right to Nationality in International Law The Right to Nationality in Resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly The Right to Nationality in International Conventions The Scope and Meaning of the Right to Nationality International Conventions that Specifically Apply to Foundlings The Right to Nationality in Customary International Law The Right to Nationality as a Customary Rule of International Law Derived from Treaties Conclusion Introduction This article seeks to answer the question of whether International Law sufficiently protects the right of foundlings to a nationality. and determine the scope of their coverage and their binding nature. law. while the term citizenship refers to the legal bond between an individual and the State. The United States (U. the term nationality is associated with the ethnicity of a person. the inhabitants of American Samoa and Swain Island are considered nationalsfor International Law purposes but are not considered citizens for purposes of the U. As used in this article.[7] Nationality . which is the term used in International Law. is defined as “a very young child or baby. thus “an infant that has been abandoned by its parents and is discovered and cared for by others. not all U.

recognizes the right of each State to determine who its citizens are. which does not require the naturalized citizen to be born within the territory of the State or to be born of parents who are nationals of the State. and the principles of law generally recognized with regard to nationality. A State may also confer nationality upon persons through naturalization. The 1930 Hague Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws[10] (hereafter. A State may also consider marriage and adoption as methods of acquiring a nationality. Nationality creates reciprocal obligations between the citizen and the State. however. dual citizenship. the child would be possessed of dual citizenship. the “1930 Hague Convention“) provides the following rules in determining a person’s nationality: “It is for each State to determine under its own law who are its nationals. it is the basis of the State’s exercise of jurisdiction over the person.” (Article 1) “Any question as to whether a person possesses the nationality of a particular State shall be determined in accordance with the law of that State. The concurrent application of the principles of jus soli and jus sanguinis may result in an individual having the nationalities of two States. a person having more than one nationality shall be treated as if he had only one. In the Nottebohm case. It imposes upon the citizen the duty to render allegiance to the State and subjects him to the obligations created by the laws of that State..” (Article 2) A State may confer its nationality exclusively upon persons born within its territory or jurisdiction by the application of the principle of jus soli (by place of birth)[11] regardless of the nationality of their parents. A State may also apply both principles of jus soli and jus sanguinis. It constitutes his membership in the particular State. On the part of the State. Without prejudice to the application of its law in matters of personal status and of any conventions in force. It makes him a national (or a citizen in the point of view of municipal law) of that State. Article 5 of the said Convention also adds that: “Within a third State. international custom. Thus. International Law. and to establish its own standards for conferring nationality albeit only for domestic law purposes. a third State shall. nationality imposes the responsibility to protect the citizen. i.Nationality is generally understood as the legal bond that connects a person to a particular State. However. of the nationalities which any such person possesses. If a child whose parents’ State of nationality applies the principle of jus sanguinis is born in the territory of another State that applies the principle of jus soli. Article 3 of the 1930 Hague Convention recognizes that a person having two or more nationalities may be regarded as its national by each of the States whose nationality he possesses. recognise exclusively in its territory either the nationality of the country in which he is habitually and . Article 15(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights[8] provides that everyone has a right to nationality and that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality. A State may also confer nationality only to persons whose parents are nationals of the State by the application of the principle of jus sanguinis (by right of blood) regardless of whether they are born within or outside its territory. It also gives the State the right to accord diplomatic protection to its nationals and to make claims on their behalf.e. The child acquires both the nationality of his parents’ State of nationality and the nationality of the State where he was born.[9]the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Liechtenstein is the sole judge of whether Nottebohm is a citizen of the State but such is for domestic law purposes only as other nations are not obliged to recognize Nottebohm’s Liechtenstein citizenship especially absent a genuine link between Nottebohm and that State. This law shall be recognized by other States in so far as it is consistent with international conventions.

in any event. Under the same Convention. although not a national of the State in which he finds himself. and freedom of movement. the child would not be considered a citizen of either State. not less favorable than that accorded to aliens generally in the same circumstances with respect to rights to movable and immovable property.principally resident. 2. who would otherwise be stateless. if the nationality of one of his parents at the time of the person’s birth was that of that State. therefore. Expressly. such bond is not possible without the consent of the State. Expressly. the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness[18] has adopted the following measures to prevent statelessness: “A Contracting State shall grant its nationality to a person born in its territory who would otherwise be stateless. not born in the territory of a Contracting State. free access to courts. right of association. or . liberal professions.” (Article 1) “A Contracting State shall grant its nationality to a person. If a child whose parents’ State of nationality exclusively applies the principle of jus soli is born in the territory of another State that exclusively applies the principle of jus sanguinis. their conflicting application. or the nationality of the country with which in the circumstances he appears to be in fact most closely connected. on the other hand. a stateless person. which require in particular that he conform to its laws and regulations as well as to measures taken for the maintenance of public order. housing.” (Article 4) The Right to Nationality in International Law Since nationality is the legal bond between a State and an individual.” Statelessness While the concurrent application of the principles of jus soli and jus sanguinismay result in a person having dual or multiple nationalities. through an international convention or treaty where a State assumes the obligation to confer its nationality upon foundlings in its territory. Such consent may be manifested by a State in several ways: 1. a stateless person is not without obligations to the State in which he finds himself. Article 1 of the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons[12] defines a stateless person as a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its laws. a stateless person. through a municipal law that confers nationality upon a foundling.[17] Aiming to reduce statelessness by international agreement.[15] A stateless person shall also be accorded the same treatment granted to a national of the country of his habitual residence with respect to rights to artistic rights and industrial property. and public relief and assistance.” Reciprocally. While nationality is the basis of the reciprocal obligation of allegiance on the part of the citizen and obligation of protection on the part of the State. a stateless person is not entirely without right and protection. rationing. elementary education. may result in an anomaly whereby an individual is not possessed of any nationality. Since many rights and privileges afforded by States may be exercised only by their nationals. is at a big disadvantage.[14] a stateless person shall be accorded the same treatment at least as favorable as that accorded to the nationals of the State with respect to freedom to practice their religion and freedom as regards the religious education of their children. Article 2 of the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons[13] provides that: “Every stateless person has duties to the country in which he finds himself. wage-earning employment. hence.[16]A stateless person shall also be accorded the same treatment which shall be as favorable as possible and.

As to the binding nature of resolutions of the U. the right of a foundling to nationality can be based on international conventions or on international customs. He adds. under International Law.[21] which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1948.[23] As a mere resolution of the General Assembly.[27]adopted on 3 December 1986. in general. The child should not.” Another resolution of the U.. paragraph 1 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice (“ICJ Statute”).[19] Hence. an international custom.[24] Paragraph 2 of the Proclamation of Teheran. that when the resolutions are concerned with general norms of international law. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality. the Declaration on the Rights of the Child[26] was proclaimed by the U. both of which are considered to be sources of International Law pursuant to Article 38.N. It contains a more emphatic provision on the right to nationality as applied to children as it makes it an entitlement of a child from birth. Principle 3 of the Declaration reads: “The child shall be entitled from his birth to a name and a nationality. then acceptance by a majority vote constitutes evidence of the opinions of governments in the widest forum for the expression of such opinions. However. are not binding on member States. a view that since 1948 the Declaration has become binding as a new rule of Customary International Law. There is. 3. General Assembly. nationality or legal representative.N.” In 1959. has codified “nationality” as a human right. the examination of municipal laws that confer nationality upon foundlings is still relevant as evidence of a general practice accepted as law. and published on 6 February 1987.[22] Article 15 of the Declaration reads: (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.[25] which was adopted by the International Conference on Human Rights held in Iran in 1968 declares: “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states a common understanding of the peoples of the world concerning the inalienable and inviolable rights of all members of the human family and constitutes an obligation for the members of the international community. Professor Ian Brownlie expresses the view that these resolutions. Article 8 of the said Declaration reads: “The child shall at all times have a name. also affirms the right to nationality as applied to children.N. the Declaration on Social and Legal Principles relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children. a nationality and a legal representative. i.[20] The Right to Nationality in Resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. however. This article focuses only on conferment of nationality on foundlings either by way of an obligation assumed under an international convention or imposed by an international custom or norm.e. through a rule of customary international law that imposes an obligation on the State to confer its nationality upon foundlings in its territory. as a result of foster placement. be deprived of his or her name. nationality or legal representative unless the child thereby acquires a new name. the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not per se legally binding. adoption or any alternative regime.” The Right to Nationality in International Conventions . General Assembly through its Resolution 1386(XIV) of 20 November 1959. Impliedly. however. General Assembly.

[36] which was adopted by the Council of the League of Arab States on 22 May 2004. it is not lightly to be presumed that a State which has not carried out these formalities. The Council of Europe affirms the right of everyone to a nationality through the European Convention on Nationality.[28] The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties[29] defines a treaty as an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law. or of conduct evincing acceptance of the conventional régime. Article 29 of the Arab Charter on Human Rights. accession. everyone has the right to a nationality.[30] Since express consent is required for a State to be bound by the rules that international conventions or treaties establish. that is to say. not having become a party to the convention it could not claim any rights under it until the professed willingness and acceptance had been manifested in the prescribed form. States that do not become a party to a particular convention or treaty cannot be bound by its terms. Everyone has the right to nationality. it would simply be told that. if established pursuant to an international convention or treaty.”[34] Therefore. foundlings found in States that are not parties to such an international convention may not compel said States to give them their nationalities.“[33] It adds further: “An obligation arises for a third State from a provision of a treaty if the parties to the treaty intend the provision to be the means of establishing the obligation and the third State expressly accepts that obligation in writing. 3. No one shall be arbitrarily or unlawfully deprived of his nationality. no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her nationality. though at all times fully able and entitled to do so. 2. is only binding on States that are parties to the said convention or treaty. The Arab States also recognize the right to a nationality. a State which. states: 1.[35] which it adopted on 6 November 1997 at Strasbourg. on the basis of a declared willingness to be bound by it. have drawn up a convention specifically providing for a particular method by which the intention to become bound by the régime of the convention is to be manifested-namely by the carrying out of certain prescribed formalities (ratification. . when a number of States. had not ratified or acceded. the following international conventions that affirm the right of everyone to a nationality must be understood as binding only on State which are parties to them. Thus. attempted to claim rights under the convention.”[32] The principle is also echoed in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. and those invoking it. statelessness shall be avoided. though entitled to do so. including the one whose conduct is invoked. Consequently. has nevertheless somehow become bound in another way.International conventions or treaties are agreements that establish rules that are expressly recognized by the parties to them.—if. This principle was explained by the ICJ in the North Sea Continental Shelf cases[31] where it stated that: “In principle. It provides: Article 4 – Principles The rules on nationality of each State Party shall be based on the following principles: 1. It states: “A treaty does not create either obligations or rights for a third State without its consent. Indeed if it were a question not of obligation but of rights. a rule conferring nationality upon foundlings. either by ratification. whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation. accession). or any other means allowed by the particular convention in question.

Belarus. 3.[43] which was adopted by the Organization of African Unity on 11 July 1990 at Addis Ababa. “Pact of San Jose. Cambodia. Ethiopia..[37] which was adopted on 18 November 2012 at Phnom Penh. affirms that: “Every child has the right to acquire a nationality. Every child shall have the right from his birth to a name. No person shall be arbitrarily deprived of such nationality nor denied the right to change that nationality. No one shall be denied the right to acquire another nationality. Right to Nationality 1. Costa Rica. 2. this right to a nationality is guaranteed in a clearer language. 2. Article 24(3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. having due regard.”[38] which was adopted by the Organization of American States (OAS) on 22 November 1969. Every person has the right to a nationality.[40]which was adopted on 16 December 1966 in New York. The 1995 Commonwealth of Independent States Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. . The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) also echoes a similar declaration which affirms the right to nationality. the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents. Everyone shall have the right to citizenship. in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless.” Article 7(2) of the same Convention[42] imposes the further obligation upon States Parties to “ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field. in all cases. to allow a child to acquire the mother’s nationality. reads: “The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name. states: Article 20. having due regard for the domestic legal procedures in his country. States parties shall take such measures as they deem appropriate. in accordance with their domestic laws on nationality. 3. especially in the case of children. the right to acquire a nationality and as far as possible. to the best interests of the child. 2. states: “Every person has the right to a nationality as prescribed by law. Every person has the right to the nationality of the state in whose territory he was born if he does not have the right to any other nationality.” The Latin American States also uphold the right to nationality of every person. Article 18 of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration.” Article 7(1) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. states: Article 6: Name and Nationality 1. The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.[39] which was adopted on 26 May 1995 at Minsk.[41] which was adopted on 20 November 1989 in New York. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his citizenship or of the right to change it. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality or of the right to change it. The American Convention on Human Rights. In other international conventions. also provides that: Article 24 1. as the right to acquire a nationality. i.e.” The African States also assert the right of every child to acquire a nationality.

in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless. 17. however.” Article 7(2) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child underscores the equal importance of a State’s “national law” and its “obligations under the relevant international instruments” in ensuring its implementation of the right of a child to acquire a nationality. at the time of the child’s birth. as provided for in article 24. Every child has the right to acquire a nationality. the general right of everyone to nationality and of every child to acquire a nationality does not impose an unqualified obligation on the part of a State party to give its nationality on every child born on its territory.[44] the Human Rights Committee has made the following observations: “Special attention should also be paid. it does not necessarily make it an obligation for States to give their nationality to every child born in their territory. States Parties to the present Charter shall undertake to ensure that their Constitutional legislation recognize the principles according to which a child shall acquire the nationality of the State in the territory of which he has been born if. both internally and in cooperation with other States. In fact. Are the said general rights to a nationality and to acquire a nationality sufficient to impose a binding obligation upon a state party to confer its nationality upon a foundling in its territory? In General Comments No. Every child shall be registered immediately after birth. he is not granted nationality by any other State in accordance with its laws. Article 7(2) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child provides: “States parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field. 2. The Scope and Meaning of the Right to Nationality While there is no question about the binding nature of the provisions of international conventions protecting the right of everyone to a nationality and to acquire a nationality. 3. and the words ‘from his birth’ were deleted. 4. the word ‘acquire’ would infer that naturalization was not to be considered as a right of the individual but was accorded by the State at its discretion. paragraph 3 of the ICCPR. to the right of every child to acquire a nationality. to ensure that every child has a nationality when he is born.[45] Marc Bossuyt made the following observations with respect to the adoption of the wording of Article 24. In this connection. no discrimination with regard to the acquisition of nationality should be admissible under internal law as between legitimate children and children born out of wedlock or of stateless parents or based on the .[46] Hence. The same interpretation would apply to all the other international conventions that protect the right of everyone to nationality and the more specific right of a child to acquire a nationality. Accordingly. including the Convention on the Rights of the Child which was adopted after the ICCPR. in the context of the protection to be granted to children. the word ‘acquire’ was inserted in draft Article 24(3). While the purpose of this provision is to prevent a child from being afforded less protection by society and the State because he is stateless. 17: Article 24 (Rights of the Child).” In his Guide to the “Travaux Préparatoires” of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. “During the ensuing debate.[47] which reads: “States are required to adopt every appropriate measure. the question. This obligation is explained by the Human Rights Committee in paragraph 8 of General Comments No. in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless. paragraph 3. is the scope of the said provisions and the nature of the obligation they impose upon the states which are parties to them.

A Contracting State which provides for the grant of its nationality in accordance with subparagraph (b) of this paragraph may also provide for the grant of its nationality by operation of law at such age and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by the national law. The law of that State shall determine the conditions governing the acquisition of its nationality in such cases. a child born on the territory of that State of parents having no nationality. in the absence of proof to the contrary. by operation of law. In relation to a Contracting State which does not. If the child’s parentage is established. its nationality shall be determined by the rules applicable in cases where the parentage is known. Article 12 1. Article 15. or (b) upon an application being lodged with the appropriate authority. . or of unknown nationality. Where the nationality of a State is not acquired automatically by reason of birth on its territory. The 1930 Hague Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws[48] provides: “Article 14. by or on behalf of the person concerned. be considered to have been born within that territory of parents possessing the nationality of that State. A Contracting State shall grant its nationality to a person born in its territory who would otherwise be stateless. no such application may be rejected. until the contrary is proved. A child whose parents are both unknown shall have the nationality of the country of birth.” The 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. or to children in general. the provisions of paragraph 1 of article 1 or of article 4. may obtain the nationality of the said State. in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of article 1 or of article 4 of this Convention.[49] on the other hand. The measures adopted to ensure that children have a nationality should always be referred to in reports by States parties. in the manner prescribed by the national law. as the case may be. grant its nationality at birth by operation of law. A foundling is. International Conventions that Specifically Apply to Foundlings While the international conventions cited above deal with the right to nationality as applied to anyone or any person. Such nationality shall be granted: (a) at birth. shall apply to persons born before as well as to persons born after the entry into force of this Convention.nationality status of one or both of the parents. Article 2 A foundling found in the territory of a Contracting State shall. there are several international conventions that contain specific provisions that apply to foundlings and their right to a nationality. contains the following provisions: Article 1 1. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of this article. presumed to have been born on the territory of the State in which it was found.

from birth. as opposed to motives of courtesy. fairness. to be registered with authorities concerned. The Right to Nationality in Customary International Law The Charter of the United Nations[52] acknowledges the existence of customary international law through Article 38(1)(b) of the ICJ Statute. have right to a good name. The provisions of article 2 of this Convention shall apply only to foundlings found in the territory of a Contracting State after the entry into force of the Convention for that State. United States of America – Section 301(f) of its Immigration and Nationality Act. that is sufficient to maintain that the obligation of a State to give its nationality upon a foundling born or found on its territory has crystallized into a rule of customary international law. all his/her relatives and foster mother.[51] which was adopted by the 32nd Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in Sana’a. and family relations in accordance with their domestic laws and shall make every effort to resolve the issue of statelessness for any child born on their territories or to any of their citizens outside their territory. as evidence of a general practice accepted as law. 2. title and nationality. foundlings found in its territory who would otherwise be stateless. A child shall. Republic of Yemen in June 2005. including his/her name. provides: . court order or similar procedures. children one of whose parents possesses. States Parties to the Covenant shall safeguard the elements of the child’s identity. to have his nationality determined and to know his/her parents. the nationality of that State Party. 2. or morality. The child of unknown descent or who is legally assimilated to this status shall have the right to guardianship and care but without adoption. 2. a rule of customary international Law requires the presence of a State practice (usus) and the belief that such practice is obligatory as a matter of law or juridical necessity (opinio juris sive necesitatis). which is incorporated into the Charter by Article 92 thereof. 3. out of a sense of legal obligation (opinio juris). states: Article Seven – Identity 1. He shall have a right to a name.” We will now turn to examine if there is evidence of practice that States adhere to. subject to any exceptions which may be provided for by its internal law as regards children born abroad. shall apply… international custom. at the time of the birth of these children. nationality. With respect to children whose parenthood is established by recognition. The provisions of paragraph 4 of article 1 of this Convention shall apply to persons born before as well as to persons born after its entry into force. It states: “The Court. Opinio juris was described by Professor Brownlie as a “sense of legal obligation.”[53] Being a general practice accepted as law. each State Party may provide that the child acquires its nationality following the procedure determined by its internal law. 3. The Covenant on the Rights of the Child in Islam. whose function is to decide in accordance with International Law such disputes as are submitted to it.[54] also known as the Foundling Statute. State practice in the form of having municipal laws granting nationality on foundlings in their territories has been found in the following States: 1. The European Convention on Nationality[50] also provides: Article 6 – Acquisition of Nationality 1 Each State Party shall provide in its internal law for its nationality to be acquired ex lege by the following persons: 1.

1. was found as a deserted child in Canada shall be deemed to have been born in Canada. 301. (1) For the purposes of paragraph 3(1) (a). A person born on Greek territory shall acquire the Greek nationality by birth. Croatia – The Law on Croatian Citizenship[58] provides: Article 7. in the absence of evidence to the contrary. before apparently attaining the age of seven years. not to have been born in the United States. 1. the child retains Finnish citizenship. provided that such person does not acquire any foreign nationality by birth or is of unknown nationality. Denmark – The Danish Nationality Act[59] provides: Article 1(2) A child found abandoned in Denmark will. Bulgaria – The Law for the Bulgarian Citizenship[57] provides: Art. The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth: (f) a person of unknown parentage found in the United States while under the age of five years. 1. until shown. Austria – The Nationality Act of 1985[56] provides that: Article 8. the following persons shall be recognized as Hungarian citizens: . 1. 1. Par.SEC. Greece – The Greek Nationality Code[61] states: Article 1(2). Finland – Section 12 of its Nationality Act of 2003[60] provides: Section 12. be considered a Danish national. however. prior to his attaining the age of twenty-one years. a person under the age of six months found on the territory of the Republic is regarded as national by descent. A child who was born or found on the territory of the Republic of Croatia shall acquire Croatian citizenship if both of his or her parents are unknown or are persons whose citizenship is unknown or are stateless persons. If the child has been established as a citizen of a foreign State only after he or she has reached the age of five. 11. 1. unless the contrary is proved within seven years from the date the person was found. Canada – The Citizenship Act[55] provides: Section 3. The child shall lose Croatian citizenship if by time he or she is fourteen it shall be determined that both of his or her parents are foreign citizens. whose parents are unknown. 1. (1) Until proof to the contrary. Foundlings and children of parents with unknown citizenship A foundling who is found in Finland is considered to be a Finnish citizen as long as he or she has not been established as a citizen of a foreign State. every person who. Hungary – The ACT LV of 1993 on Hungarian Citizenship[62] states: Section 3(3) Until proven to the contrary. 1. Considered born on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria is a child found on this territory. 4.

unless possession of another citizenship is proved. be deemed to have the status of a citizen of Ceylon by descent. South Korea – Article 2. 1. The following persons are Spaniards by birth: 1. is found abandoned in the United Kingdom shall. every person born in India.[68] 1. until the contrary is proved. Sri Lanka – Its Citizenship Act of 1948[69] provides: 2. – (a) on or after the 26th day of January. after commencement. 2. 1. 2. 1. Italy – The Law No. Mere birth in India. Citizenship by birth (1) Except as provided in sub-section (2). The child of unknown parents who is found abandoned in the territory of the Republic shall. is sufficient. Attainment of Nationality by Birth (1) A person falling under any of the following subparagraphs shall be a national of the Republic of Korea at birth: . d) Those born in Spain of uncertain filiation. Spain – The Spanish Civil Code[64] provides that: Article 17. paragraph 2 of its Nationality Law[70] reads: Article 2. minors whose first known place of existence is in Spanish territory shall be presumed born within Spanish territory. India – Section 3(1) of its Citizenship Act of 1955[67] states: 2. Foundlings Every person first found in Ceylon as a newly born deserted infant of unknown and unascertainable parentage shall. b) children born of unknown parents and found in Hungary. United Kingdom – The British Nationality Act of 1981[66] states: (2) A new-born infant who. be deemed citizen by birth. unless the contrary is shown. even if both the parents are unknown. For these purposes. be deemed for the purposes of subsection (1)- (a) to have been born in the United Kingdom after commencement. 1. 1. and (b) to have been born to a parent who at the time of the birth was a British citizen or settled in the United Kingdom. Sweden – The Act on Swedish Citizenship[65] provides: Section 2 Any foundling discovered in Sweden shall be considered to be a Swedish citizen until any indication to the contrary is discovered. 1950. 91 of 1992[63] provides: Article 1(2).

1. 1. Every person in Iraq of unknown parents. 26 of 1975 Concerning Egyptian Nationality[71]provides: Article 2: Shall be considered Egyptians: 4. be deemed to have the status of a citizen of Belize by descent. Kuwait – Its Nationality Law of 1959[73] provides: Article 3. . it is established that he is also of foreign descent and if he possesses the nationality of his foreign parent in accordance with the law of that country. provided they are born in Mozambique: (b) Persons born of stateless parents or parents of unknown nationality or of unknown parents. (2) An abandoned child found in the Republic of Korea shall be recognized as born in the Republic of Korea. Kuwaiti nationality is acquired by any person born in Kuwait whose parents are unknown. Any foundling found in Algeria is considered to be born in Algeria until the contrary has been proved. A person who was born in the Republic of Korea. if both of the person’s parents are unknown or have no identity. until the contrary is proved. The foundling who is found in Iraq. The following are of Algerian nationality by birth in Algeria: (1) the child born in Algeria of unknown parents. A foundling is deemed to have been born in Kuwait unless the contrary is proved. Egypt – Its Law No. Every person first found in Belize as a newly born deserted infant of unknown and unascertainable parentage shall. 1. the child born in Algeria of unknown parents shall not be considered to have ever been Algerian if. The following shall be Mozambican nationals. 5. unless otherwise proved. Those who were born in Egypt of unknown parents. Iraq – Its Law No. Foundlings. However. Belize – The Nationality Act of 1981[76] provides: 2. (46) of 1963[72] provides: Article 4: Shall hereby deemed to be an Iraqi National: 3. Mozambique – Its Nationality Act of 1975[74] states: Article 1 1. before he comes of age. shall be deemed to be born there unless there shall be an evidence against it. 4. A foundling in Egypt shall be considered as born in it. 1. Algeria – The Nationality Law of 1970[75] states that: Article 7. 3.

is implicit in the very notion of the opinio juris sive necessitatis. As stated by the International Court of Justice in the North Sea Continental Shelf cases: “Although the passage of only a short period of time is not necessarily. and Slovenia. the Court deems it sufficient that the conduct of States should. in the sense that States should have refrained.”[78] However.[77] The above shows that there is a big corpus of domestic statutes granting citizenship on foundlings. Slovakia. in the field of ceremonial and protocol. Latvia. Moldova.. the existence of a subjective element.. particularly: Albania. in general. and should moreover have occurred in such a way as to show a general recognition that a rule of law or legal obligation is involved. The frequency. In the Case Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua[79] when it examined the customary nature of the principles of non-use of force and non-intervention.g. require that a . must be extensive. The State practice. with complete consistency. including that of States whose interests are specially affected. but defends its conduct by appealing to exceptions or justifications contained within the rule itself. it observed: “Not only must the acts concerned amount to a settled practice. The Court does not consider that. Bosnia H. Macedonia. an indispensable requirement would be that within the period in question. or of itself. The need for such a belief. The following post-Communist States in Europe also grant exceptional jus soli citizenship for children of unknown parents. the significance of that attitude is to confirm rather than to weaken the rule. convenience or tradition. e. Poland. and show a general recognition that a rule of law or legal obligation is involved. However. 1. not as indications of the recognition of a new rule. but they must also be such. to establish a rule of customary international law. State practice. short though it might be. be consistent with such rules. or be carried out in such a way. Some States.e.”[81] While the State practice of conferring nationality on foundlings is sufficiently dense and extensive. whether it satisfies the state practice requirement of customary international law is an entirely different question. virtually uniform. FRY/Serbia. In the North Sea Continental Shelf cases. it does not appear to be virtually uniform. Estonia. from the use of force or from intervention in each other’s internal affairs. Romania. i. the corresponding practice must be in absolutely rigorous conformity with the rule. perfect uniformity in the application of the practice is not really necessary. If a State acts in a way prima facie incompatible with a recognized rule. There are many international acts. found in the territory.”[80] The ICJ also emphasized the necessity of opinio juris in several decisions. Czech Republic.. the ICJ stated that: “It is not to be expected that in the practice of States the application of the rules in question should have been perfect. but which are motivated only by considerations of courtesy. then whether or not the State’s conduct is in fact justifiable on that basis. In order to deduce the existence of customary rules. which are performed almost invariably. Lithuania. should have been both extensive and virtually uniform in the sense of the provision invoked. or even habitua1 character of the acts is not in itself enough. and not by any sense of legal duty. as to be evidence of a belief that this practice is rendered obligatory by the existence of a rule of law requiring it. The States concerned must therefore feel that they are conforming to what amounts to a legal obligation. A number of States give their citizenship on foundlings found in their territory without requiring that the foundling must have been born in their territory. and that instances of State conduct inconsistent with a given rule should generally have been treated as breaches of that rule. for a rule to be established as customary. a bar to the formation of a new rule of customary international law on the basis of what was originally a purely conventional rule. on the other hand.

[85] Austria requires that a foundling be found under the age of six months. while only conventional or contractual in its origin. the ICJ also recognized the norm-creating nature of treaties.”[93] The ICJ. has since passed into the general corpus of . on the other hand. play an important role in the crystallization of emerging norms as binding international customs or at least to affirm their existence. the provision of a treaty in question must be: “a norm-creating provision which has constituted the foundation of.[92] Treaties can. when coupled with opinio juris.[84] Canada requires that the foundling be found before apparently reaching the age of seven years. the United States requires that foundlings were under the age of five years at the time they were found. A multilateral treaty may give rise to new customary rules (or to assist in their creation) “of its own impact” if it is widely adopted by States and it is the clear intention of the parties to create new customary law. but also on non-parties. There is also no clear evidence of opinio juris that States feel a sense of legal obligation to confer their nationality on foundlings found in their territory. unless the contrary is proved within seven years from the date the person was found. requires that the foundling was a new-born infant at the time it was found.[90] 3. and that after such period and there is no evidence against it.” In the ILA Report (London Principles). however. result to rules of customary international law that become binding not only on the parties to the treaty. Multilateral treaties can assist in the “crystallization” of emerging rules of customary international law. or has generated a rule which. recognized as such. For example. Multilateral treaties can provide the impulse or model for the formation of new customary rules through State practice. Other States implementing such presumption impose a period within which such presumption can be rebutted. A treaty may provide evidence of existing (lex lata) customary law.[87] This reflects the understanding of some States that a foundling must be an infant or a very young child. as one of the recognized methods of establishing international customs. where a foundling retains Finnish citizenship if established as a citizen of another State only after he or she has reached the age of five. The Right to Nationality as a Customary Rule of International Law Derived from Treaties Some treaties known as law-making treaties (“traité-loi“) may also establish norms which. holding that: “There is no doubt that this process is a perfectly possible one and does from time to time occur: it constitutes indeed one of the recognized methods by which new rules of customary international law may be formed.[86] The United Kingdom. then the presumption becomes conclusive. also declared that in order to become an international custom. Therefore. therefore. the practice of States of giving nationality to foundlings found in their territory is not sufficiently uniform and consistent enough to constitute a rule of customary international law. In the North Sea Continental Shelf cases. But some States implement a presumption that foundlings are deemed to have been born in their territory unless the contrary is proved.[89] 2.[88] the International Law Association summarized the case law on the role of treaties in the formation of customary international law: 1.[83] Some States also implement an age requirement on foundlings as a condition for giving its citizenship.[82] Another example is Canada that considers a deserted child to have been born in Canada. An example of this is Finland.foundling be born in their territory in strict application of the principle of jus soli.[91] 4. Article 38 of the Vienna Convention provides: “Nothing in articles 34 to 37 precludes a rule set forth in a treaty from becoming binding upon a third State as a customary rule of international law.

the Convention. A foundling found in the territory of a Contracting State shall. but has been ratified by only twenty of those States. the said provision cannot give rise to a new rule (lex ferenda) of customary international law or assist in its creation “of its own impact. Each State Party shall provide in its internal law for its nationality to be acquired ex lege by foundlings found in its territory who would otherwise be stateless.[99] As of this writing. Brazil. has been signed by twenty-nine States. Mauritius. Swaziland. Cyprus. (Art. Great Britain. Poland. 14. be considered to have been born within that territory of parents possessing the nationality of that State. in the absence of proof to the contrary. Pakistan. A child whose parents are both unknown shall have the nationality of the country of birth. 2. (Art. become parties to the Convention.international law. until the contrary is proved. Monaco. presumed to have been born on the territory of the State in which it was found. namely Australia. and is now accepted as such by the opinio juris. Norway.”[94] The relevant treaty provisions that specifically give foundlings the right to the nationality of the State where they are found state provide the following: 1. 4. its provision on foundlings (Article 2) cannot be said to reflect existing rules of customary law. Conclusion While the right to nationality is declared as a fundamental human right by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and some international conventions. and not arising from a belief that it is rendered obligatory by the existence of a rule of customary international law requiring it. Evidently. and Zimbabwe. Article 12(3) of the Convention states that the provisions of Article 2 shall apply only to foundlings found in the territory of a Contracting State after the entry into force of the Convention for that State. Malta. A foundling is. Lesotho. Fiji. China. While the Convention is also open to non-members of the Council of Europe. which are not parties to said conventions as norms of customary international law. The 1930 Hague Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws entered into force on 1 July 1937 by virtue of the ratification or accessions of ten States. its specific application on foundlings is still a . and do not. the obligation of a State Party to give its nationality to foundlings found in its territory who would otherwise be stateless shall be provided in its internal law. 1930 Hague Convention)[95]. Liberia.[102] However. (Art. The said provision creates a purely conventional or treaty obligation that is referable only to the Convention. as of this writing.[101] The 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness entered into force on 13 December 1975 and has sixty-four States parties as of this writing. it is an obligation that a State assumes within the context of the Convention. ( 6. so as to have become binding even for countries which have never. 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness)[97]. 3. Kiribati. only twenty-two States are parties to the Convention.[103] From the very wordings of Article 6. Burma (Myanmar). Moreover. 2. the provision on foundlings contained in Article 2 of the Convention neither provides evidence of existing customary law nor assists in the crystallization of rules of customary international law. Netherlands. That being the case. Belgium. 1930 Hague Convention)[96]. which entered into force on 1 March 2000.” The same things can be said of the provision on the nationality of foundlings in Article 6 of the European Convention on Nationality. not having been widely adopted by States.[100] Canada previously ratified the Convention in 1934 but subsequently denounced it 15 May 1996. said provisions must fulfill the said standards set by the ICJ. 14. India. while it has more parties. European Convention on Nationality)[98] For the said treaty provisions to be binding on States. Sweden.

internally and internationally. being a mere treaty or conventional obligation. which may be limited only by international obligations that the State itself has assumed in International Law. or in recognition of what States believe to be a rule of customary international law. It implies the right of each individual to acquire. it cannot be lightly assumed that its provisions on foundlings have crystallized into the establishment of an obligation that exists outside of the Convention as a matter of general practice accepted as law. therefore. therefore. Thus. Arbitrary deprivation of nationality. and impose an obligation on States to ensure its observance by giving their nationality on foundlings found on their territory. States must comply with their human rights obligations concerning the granting and loss of nationality. there is no indication that such practice is done out of a sense of legal obligation. the same is binding only upon States which are parties to the Convention. to implement the right. Foundlings in States that have no national laws. Some States already give their nationality to foundlings found in their territory ex lege. A State has the exclusive prerogative to determine who its citizens are. change and retain a nationality. Absent a national law or an international convention where a State has agreed to assume an obligation to confer its nationality on a foundling found in its territory. Furthermore. the right of foundlings to a nationality will just be an empty rhetoric unless States accord it due respect and take measures. International human rights law provides that the right of States to decide who their nationals are is not absolute and. that give foundlings their nationality may. . The 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness has implemented provisions to secure the right of foundlings to a nationality.matter of State prerogative and discretion. and which are not parties to international conventions. but also because these persons are placed in a situation of increased vulnerability to human rights violations. effectively places the affected persons in a more disadvantaged situation concerning the enjoyment of their human rights because some of these rights may be subjected to lawful limitations that otherwise would not apply. However. find themselves stateless. It is not a right that enforces itself by its own inherent value. Right to a Nationality and Statelessness The Right to a Nationality The right to a nationality is a fundamental human right. the right of a foundling to nationality cannot be enforced by an action against the State. and International Law affords no remedy. not having been generally accepted by States. in particular. Arbitrary Deprivation of Nationality The right to retain a nationality corresponds to the prohibition of arbitrary deprivation of nationality. However.

stateless persons are subject to several other human rights violations. international human rights courts and advocates at times use the two terms interchangeably. the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The General Assembly. including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In addition to violations of their right to a nationality. An explicit and general prohibition of arbitrary deprivation of nationality can be found in numerous international instruments. States shall introduce safeguards to prevent statelessness by granting their nationality to persons who would otherwise be stateless and are either born in their territory or are born abroad to one of their nationals. the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. it is worth noting that article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights explicitly provides that no one should be arbitrarily deprived of his or her nationality. The issue of nationality is also regulated in the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. CITIZENSHIP & NATIONALITY N. but UNHCR estimates that there are at least 10 million globally.B. in its resolution 50/152.” The exact number of stateless people is not known. the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. also recognized the fundamental nature of the prohibition of arbitrary deprivation of nationality. the Convention on the Nationality of Married Women. the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Contents  OVERVIEW o Legal Protections o Acquisition of Nationality o De Jure vs. International Legal Framework The right to a nationality is recognized in a series of international legal instruments. Statelessness The 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons defines "stateless person" as “a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law. In particular. De Facto Statelessness o Causes of Statelessness o Consequences of Statelessness  ENFORCEMENT o Enforcement at the International Level o Enforcement at the National Level  SELECTED CASELAW o Access to Nationality o Detention and Removal of Stateless Persons o Arbitrary Deprivation of Nationality o Equal Access to Nationality o Effective Nationality  ADDITIONAL RESOURCES .States shall also prevent statelessness upon loss or deprivation of nationality. the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.: Although the terms nationality and citizenship technically have two distinct meanings.

Estonia. notably in the enjoyment of the following rights…the right to nationality. Myanmar. Article 1(1) of the 1954 Statelessness Convention defines a stateless person as “a person who is not recognized as a national by any State under operation of its law. Individuals who lack a nationality or an effective citizenship are therefore among the world’s most vulnerable to human rights violations. while Article 5 of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination requires States to “prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone. In recognition of the importance of having a nationality. Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Childstates that every child has the right to acquire a nationality. The 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons (1954 Statelessness Convention) was drafted in order to guarantee the protection of these individuals’ fundamental rights. colour. Expert Meeting – The . the Middle East. Id. Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to a nationality” and that “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.OVERVIEW The right to a nationality is of paramount importance to the realization of other fundamental human rights. it is particularly prevalent in South East Asia. or national or ethnic origin. Eastern Europe. a number of regional and international human rights instruments include the right to a nationality.” This definition has subsequently become a part of customary international law. 356 U. UNHCR & Asylum Aid. Stateless People. Central Asia. See UNHCR. For example. there are currently an estimated twelve million people who do not have a nationality and are therefore stateless. 101-102 (1958). and several countries in Africa. and Latvia.S. the right to a nationality has been described as the “right to have rights. Mapping Statelessness in The United Kingdom 22 (2011). to equality before the law. 20. art. Dulles.” Despite recognition of the right to a nationality.” See also American Convention on Human Rights. Consequently. Estimates show that the countries with the greatest number of stateless persons residing within their borders are Iraq. Syria. 86. UNHCR. Thailand. Possession of a nationality carries with it the diplomatic protection of the country of nationality and is also often a legal or practical requirement for the exercise of fundamental rights. While statelessness is a global problem. Kenya. The right to a nationality is often articulated through protection of the rights of children and the principle of non- discrimination. Nepal. without distinction as to race.” See Trop v.

Article 31 also requires that the expulsion of stateless persons on these grounds be “in pursuance of a decision reached in due process of law. arts. art.. that the 1954 Statelessness Convention addresses the same rights as those covered in the 1951 Refugee Convention. which recognizes the difficulties refugees often face in acquiring valid travel . while Article 28 obliges States to issue travel documents to stateless persons unless there are compelling reasons for national security or public order for not doing so. such as in access to the courts and access to public relief and primary education. and where it departs significantly from the 1951 Refugee Convention. among other rights. therefore.” Id. e. including wage-earning employment and housing. See id.. with a few distinctions. stateless persons are to be treated in the same way as nationals. See id. they have no means of gaining lawful entry into a State and thus are ineligible for protection from expulsion. The 1954 Statelessness Convention applies some of the same exclusion clauses as those found in the 1951 Refugee Convention. In some cases. 16. Equal Rights Trust. Because many stateless persons lack identity and travel documents.g.. art. 2(i). See. the 1954 Statelessness Convention does not apply “to persons who are at present receiving from organs or agencies of the United Nations other than the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees protection or assistance so long as they are receiving such protection or assistance. Article 31prohibits the expulsion of stateless persons lawfully in the territory of a State Party save for grounds of national security or public order. arts. This is in sharp contrast to Article 31 of the 1951 Refugee Convention. is the protection afforded in Article 31. Article 27requires States to issue identity documents to stateless persons on their territory. See id. It is not surprising. 17 and 21 Recognizing that many stateless persons lack documentation. housing.” 1954 Statelessness Convention. and public relief. This is because the 1954 Statelessness Convention was originally intended to be a Protocol to the 1951 Refugee Convention. For example. The Protection of Stateless Persons in Detention under International Law (Jan. 23 and 22. The issue with Article 31 is that it limits its protection to stateless persons lawfully on the State’s territory. A major limitation of the 1954 Statelessness Convention. access to the courts. In other areas. 2009) 19 (Working Paper).Concept of Stateless Persons Under International Law (Summary Conclusions) 2 (2010) (commonly referred to as the UNHCR Prato Summary Conclusions). 27 and 28. stateless persons are to be given the same treatment as non-citizens in the same circumstances. art. The 1954 Statelessness Convention is similar in structure to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. 31(1). employment. art. The 1954 Statelessness Convention also recognizes the rights of stateless persons to education. See id.. 31(2).

Nationality can be a contentious issue. 24(3))  Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (art. art. 19 . Article 32 of the 1954 Statelessness Convention requires States to “as far as possible facilitate the assimilation and naturalization of stateless persons. Consequently neither the 1954 nor the 1961 Statelessness Conventions are widely ratified and a large number of States have domestic laws that deprive individuals access to a nationality on a discriminatory basis and/or do not adequately protect the human rights of stateless persons on their territory. 31(1). 1 and 8. as the acquisition and deprivation of nationality implicates other areas of the law including a State’s sovereign right to determine who may enter and remain within its territory. Article 1(2) of the 1961 Statelessness Convention describes the conditions a State may place on granting nationality and stipulates that a State may require a period of habitual residence but it may not exceed five years. 15)  International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (art. Legal Protections The following instruments address the right to a nationality:  1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons  1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness  1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and 1967 Optional Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees  Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. arts. 5(d)(iii))  Convention on the Rights of the Child (arts. 7 and 8)  1997 European Convention on Nationality  Council of Europe Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in Relation to State Succession  American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man: art. See 1961 Statelessness Convention.” More detailed provisions for the acquisition of nationality as well as the prevention of statelessness in the first place are found in the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness (1961 Statelessness Convention). See 1951 Refugee Convention.documents and prohibits States from penalizing refugees who enter their territories illegally. however. The 1961 Statelessness Convention also provides that children should acquire the nationality of the State in which they are born if they would otherwise be stateless and that a State may not deprive an individual of their nationality if doing so would render the individual stateless.

regardless of the citizenship or immigration status of their parents.C. In other States.C. apply both jus soli and jus sanguinis. § 1. territory are automatically U. In States that apply jus sanguinis.S. States such as the United States. e. art. by descent from a State’s national (jus sanguinis).S.  American Convention on Human Rights (art. 25 July 1951.S..2/108/Rev. that is. 9)  African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (art.1 . De Jure vs. De Facto Statelessness The definition of a stateless person provided in the 1954 Statelessness Convention – “a person who is not considered a national by any State under operation of its law” – describes the situation of the de jure stateless. In States that apply pure jus soli. See British Nationality Act. See 8 U. such as the United Kingdom.S. The citizenship laws of each State dictate whether the State applies jus soli or jus sanguinis and explain the requirements for naturalization.) Finally. it does not matter where an individual is born. children born on U. at the time of his/her birth. UN Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons.S. although the Final Act included a non-binding recommendation that States take measures to protect the rights of de facto stateless persons. § 1401. c. (See Discussion in Causes of Statelessness below.g. § 1401. 6)  Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) (art. A/CONF.K. or by naturalization. the obligations imposed on States by the 1954 Statelessness Convention apply only to de jurestateless persons. provide that only the father may pass his nationality on to his children. 61. as are children born abroad to U. 24)  Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (art. 8 U. A number of States. 1(1) Thus. however. citizen parents. an individual acquires citizenship by birth on the territory provided his/her parents were “legally settled” in the U. 20)  Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (art. See Act of 15 February 1962 on Polish Citizenship § 2. citizenship will pass from the parent to the child. if one or both of his/her parents is a citizen of the country. Final Act of the United Nations Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons. 1954 Statelessness Convention. an individual acquires the citizenship of that State if they are born on the State’s territory. 6(g) and 6(h))  Arab Charter on Human Rights (art. citizens. 18) Acquisition of Nationality Nationality can be acquired through one of three ways: by birth on a State’s territory (jus soli). See. 1981.

” Id. The issue with this definition has been determining the meaning of the term “effective nationality. STATE SUCCESSION The dissolution of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslav Federation as well as post-colonial state formation in Africa and Asia have contributed to large populations of stateless persons in . Hungarian Helsinki Comm. e. In the above context.” See. discrimination against certain racial or ethnic minority groups. de facto stateless persons technically have a nationality.. Forgotten Without Reason: Protection of Non-Refugee Stateless Persons in Central Europe 8 (2007)..” UNHCR.g. This debate unfolded during the 2010 UNHCR Expert Meeting on the Concept of Statelessness under International Law.. Thus. Expert Meeting – The Concept of Stateless Persons Under International Law (Summary Conclusions) 6 (2010) (commonly referred to as the UNHCR Prato Summary Conclusions). Id. “protection” refers to “the right of diplomatic protection exercised by a State of nationality in order to remedy an internationally wrongful act against one of its nationals. for valid reasons. e. as well as diplomatic and consular protection and assistance generally.There has been much debate within the international community concerning the definition of de facto statelessness. yet he/she has no effective nationality and does not enjoy national protection. but for a variety of reasons they do not enjoy the rights and protections persons holding their nationality normally enjoy. including in relation to return to the State of nationality. and gender-based discrimination in nationality laws. A person’s inability or unwillingness to seek the protection of the country of his/her nationality is often the result of a well-founded fear of persecution.g. See. however. A generally applied definition of a de facto stateless person has been “a person unable to demonstrate that he/she is de jure stateless. meaning that refugees are considered de facto stateless. are unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country. Gábor Gyulai. where participants ultimately concluded that the term “de facto statelessness” should refer to persons “outside the country of their nationality who are unable or. It is important to note. Causes of Statelessness There are a variety of reasons why a person may be or become stateless. Mapping Statelessness in The United Kingdom 23-24 (2011). the divide has been over whether a person’s nationality could be ineffective inside as well as outside their country of nationality. UNHCR & Asylum Aid. that not all de facto stateless persons are refugees.” Traditionally. The most commonly discussed causes of statelessness are: state succession. conflict of laws and other technical or administrative matters.

Jane McAdam. with some limited exceptions. “hundreds of thousands” of ethnic Russians living in Estonia – many of whom had been forcibly relocated to Estonia during the occupation – were left stateless. A person may be at risk of statelessness if they are born in a State that applies jus sanguinis while his/her parents were born in a State that applies jus soli. See 1961 Convention. the naturalization requirements for Estonian citizenship. Left Behind: Stateless Russians Search for Equality in Estonia. This issue is without precedent and is currently being studied by relevant stakeholders within the international community. some States state in their nationality laws that a citizen will automatically lose their nationality after a specified period of absence from the State. See UNHCR & Asylum Aid.” that is. art. art. A future issue for the international community is the status of nationals of “sinking states. CONFLICT OF LAWS AND ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICES Statelessness cases in this context are the result of a variety of legal and administrative factors. when Estonia regained its independence in 1991. remain challenging for many ethnic Russians who live isolated from the ethnic Estonian population. Id. Id at 23. For example. Refugees International. The Council of Europe has also drafted a Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in Relation to State Succession. such as the language requirement and civics exam. The fact that some States apply jus soli while others apply jus sanguinis in their citizenship laws is one such factor. As a result of this policy. 10(1).g. 10(2). Article 10(1) of the 1961 Statelessness Convention requires any treaty contracted between States concerning the transfer of territory to include specific provisions addressing the nationality of the citizens of the territory at issue. See 1961 Statelessness Convention. Additionally. Id. following over forty years of Soviet occupation.” Statelessness and The Boundaries of International Law (2010). e. Eastern Europe. Mapping Statelessness in The United Kingdom 23 (2011). a State is required to confer its nationality on residents of the transferred territory if they would otherwise become stateless. and Asia. “Disappearing States. a person shall not be . States that are at danger of physically disappearing as the result of climate change. In the absence of such provisions. the government restricted the automatic conferral of Estonian citizenship to persons who had been Estonian citizens prior to the Soviet occupation and their descendants. See. Id.Africa. The risk of statelessness in cases of state succession has led to the adoption of legal protections that specifically address nationality and state succession. Although the Estonian government has taken steps to encourage such individuals to apply for Estonian or Russian citizenship. leaving the person ineligible for citizenship in both States due to conflicting laws.. Because of the risk of statelessness these laws create. the 1961 Statelessness Convention provides that.

6-8. art. or the birthplace of their parents. A contemporary example of this problem can be seen in Sudan. As a result. are at a heightened risk of statelessness. Mapping Statelessness in The United Kingdom 24 (2011). African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Iraq and Kuwait in recent decades. children who have no legal proof of where they were born. Although not having a birth certificate does not automatically make a child stateless. Bangladesh: The Silent Crisis. the Syrian government issued Decree No. an ethnic minority group of Burma. also places children at risk of statelessness. The Rohingya still residing in Burma have been consistently denied access to citizenship over the last several decades and have been subjected to violence as well as restrictions on their rights to marry and freedom of movement. See International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Id. Falil Kurds in Iraq were stripped of their citizenship following a decree issued by then- President Saddam Hussein. art. home to a large population of Syrian Kurds. Id. 24(2). Syria: The Silenced Kurds (1996). where the government has been urged to ensure that Sudanese of southern origin are not stripped of their Sudanese citizenship if they do not become citizens of the new country of South Sudan. Similar concerns of statelessness have arisen in Burma. DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MINORITY GROUPS In some cases. In 1962. See 1961 Statelessness Convention. Mapping Statelessness in The United Kingdom 23 (2011). the identity of their parents. art.000 Kurds were denaturalized. 6(2). were stripped of their Burmese citizenship. a figure accounting for 20 percent of Syria’s Kurdish population at the time. The Kurdish populations of Syria and Iraq have experienced a similar fate. arts. . Human Rights Watch. which is a serious issue in developing countries. Id. among other severe human rights abuses. Lack of registration at birth. In 1980. Residents were required to prove residence in Syria since 1945 or lose citizenship but residents were given insufficient notice of the census. 120. 93 which announced a one-day census in the al-Hasakeh province. Syria. the Rohingya. Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNHCR & Asylum Aid. In 1982. minority groups have either been prevented from acquiring the nationality of the country in which they reside or have been arbitrarily deprived of their nationality.deprived of their nationality unless they have acquired or possess another nationality. 7(1). UNHCR & Asylum Aid. Refugees International. The importance of birth registration can be seen in various international and regional human rights instruments that guarantee the right of every child to be registered at birth.

the Jordanian government had denaturalized 2700 Jordanians of Palestinian origin and that thousands more were at risk of being denaturalized. 5712-1952. but did not register during the relevant period because of a misunderstanding of the importance of acquiring Kuwaiti citizenship. bars the Palestinian spouses of Israelis from access . The Situation of Stateless Persons in the Middle East and North Africa 42 (2010). The 5712-1952 Nationality Law of Israel grants citizenship to Palestinians residing in Israel on the basis of residency within the State. discrimination and repression in Kuwait 5-6 (2009). Since the 1980s. Id at 7-8. certain ethnic groups within a country were deemed ineligible for citizenship following independence. Refugees International. 1 (1959) (Kuwait). See Human Rights Watch. Nationality Law. which granted citizenship to a large number of Palestinians through Article 3(2) of its Law No. It should be noted that some were in fact eligible for citizenship. Nationality Law. though the International Crisis Group has reported that Arab-Israelis experience discrimination and marginalization. Id. Without Citizenship: Statelessness. The 1965 Casablanca Protocol provides that Arab States hosting Palestinian refugees are to treat them the same as citizens. the Jordanian government has since restricted access to citizenship for Palestinians living within its borders. the controversial 2003 Nationality and Entry into Israel (Temporary Order) Law which. See Laura van Waas. Open Society Institute & Refugees International. Kuwait. see Int’l Crisis Group. Back to Basics: Israel’s Arab Minority and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict ii (2012). among other provisions. Through the application of this law. art. the Bidoon in Kuwait have been treated. Palestinians throughout the Middle East and North Africa have also been regularly denied access to citizenship. including birth and marriage certificates. Palestinians cannot attain nationality in many States in North Africa and the Middle East. the majority of Bidoon remain stateless. 6 of 1954 on Nationality (last amended 1987). While the government has recently issued decrees allowing small numbers of Bidoon to naturalize. In Kuwait. However. about one-third of Kuwait’s population at the time of its independence was classified as Bidoon Jinsiya (without nationality). as illegal residents and have experienced discrimination in the employment and education sectors as well as in their ability to obtain legal documentation. Stateless again: Palestinian-Origin Jordanians Deprived of Their Nationality (2010). Article 1 of the 1959 Nationality Act states that any person or their descendants who settled in Kuwait prior to 1920 and maintained their residence there until enactment of the law is a Kuwaiti national. while Palestinians “retain their nationality. Between 2004 and 2008. In 2006.In other cases. The exception is Jordan. (Isr.” Consequently.).

Tunisia’s interim government announced it was withdrawing all of its reservations to CEDAW. Stateless Palestinians. only men are able to pass their nationality on to their children. See. Human Rights Watch. GENDER-BASED DISCRIMINATION In a large number of States that apply jus sanguinis.. and subsequent amendments. many Palestinians live in poverty in refugee camps.g. 26 Forced Migration Review 8 (2006). art. art.g. 15 on Lebanese Nationality. 9. e. Further. 61-70 of 7 March 1961 determining Senegalese Nationality. Unable to acquire citizenship and exercise the rights associated with it. Article 5. Although many of these States provide that a child may acquire the nationality of his/her mother when the father is unknown or paternity has not been legally established. This provision has been weakened. Jan.g. The situation of Palestinians in Lebanon where Lebanese law places serious restrictions on their ability to work and own property is considered particularly dire. SeeDivision for the Advancement of Women. 11. e..g. 3 (1959) (Kuwait). Article 9 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women(CEDAW) recognizes the right of women to pass their nationality on to their children. e. Jerusalem Post. See. In 2011. Reservations and Objections to CEDAW (listing reservations to specific articles by country). World Report 2011: Lebanon (2011). CEDAW. which included a reservation to Article 9. Abbas Shiblak.. Meanwhile. Declarations. 2012. Article 6(h) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of the Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) provides that women have equal rights with men to pass their nationality on to their children “except where this is contrary to a provision in national legislation or is contrary to national security interests..to citizenship and residency in Israel was upheld by the High Court of Justice in 2006. 1 (1925). some States have taken steps to grant women equal rights in respect to nationality. See. by a significant number of States that have made reservations to this particular article.” This is problematic because a number of countries in Africa have clauses in their national legislation that only permit men to pass their nationality on to their children. the Palestinian populations of Kuwait and Libya were forcibly expelled in 1991 and 1995 respectively. as well as to their husbands..g. e. the children of citizen mothers and foreign fathers are at risk of statelessness if the father is stateless or is unwilling to complete the necessary steps to apply for citizenship for his child within the father’s own country. In recent years. See. Law No. art. this right is restricted within Africa’s regional human rights system. Human Rights Watch. . e. however. Decree No. See High Court rejects petition against citizenship law. Statelessness has had a profound effect on the lives of Palestinians. See. Nationality Law.

Consequences of Statelessness Stateless persons live in an extremely precarious and vulnerable situation. Stateless persons are also particularly vulnerable to expulsion from their country of habitual residence because they lack a legal status and are at risk of prolonged detention. General Assembly. This is in accordance with a series of General Assembly Resolutions delegating UNHCR as the UN body to which stateless persons claiming the benefits of the Statelessness Conventions should apply. however. Stateless – UNHCR Actions. of a body to which persons claiming the benefit of the Convention may apply. UNHCR. See Equal Rights Trust. General Assembly. Morocco amended its nationality laws to enable women married to foreigners to pass their nationality on to their children. A/RES/49/169. In 2007. women married to Palestinian men were still prevented from passing their nationality on to their children. Question of the Establishment. in accordance with the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. wage-earning employment. of a body to which persons claiming the benefit of the Convention may apply. Women’s Learning Partnership. . and freedom of movement. individuals without citizenship lack the legal recognition necessary to exercise many rights. at 13. the Ministry of the Interior announced that these children would also be eligible for citizenship. health. Middle East/North Africa Overview and Fact Sheet. ENFORCEMENT Enforcement at the International Level The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) mandate includes protection of stateless persons. 10 December 1974. 2009) 36-7 (Working Paper). In May 2011. “poverty becomes an integral part of stateless life.Tunisia: Government Lifts Restrictions on Women’s Rights Treaty. in accordance with the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. and have no expectation of diplomatic protection from any government. education. in addition to its duties to protect and assist refugees. because there is often no State that will admit them. in Egypt. However. The Protection of Stateless Persons in Detention under International Law (Jan. Id. Mapping Statelessness in The United Kingdom 25 (2011). Question of the Establishment. See United Nations. Statelessness affects a person’s ability to enjoy fundamental privileges such as marriage. particularly in the context of pre-deportation detention. Laura van Waas. The Situation of Stateless Persons in the Middle East and North Africa 14 (2010). Id. Women’s Rights in the Arab Spring. Although humans have rights under international human rights law. Consequently.” UNHCR & Asylum Aid. A/RES/3274 (XXIX). United Nations. 30 November 1976. Egypt adopted similar measures in 2004 when it amended its Nationality Act to entitle children born to Egyptian mothers and foreign fathers to Egyptian citizenship.

See. (2011). Enforcement at the National Level The 1954 Statelessness Convention does not include procedures for States to use in identifying stateless persons on their territory. UNHCR & Asylum Aid. Id. and providing assistance to stateless persons. The UNHCR also drew from the summary conclusions of its expert meetings and drafted a series of guidelines on issues such as the definition of statelessness in Article 1(1) of the 1954 Statelessness Convention. In the absence of statelessness status determination procedures. UNHCR. See. Mapping Statelessness in The United Kingdom 64. See id. e.. at 39.. many stateless individuals apply for asylum in an attempt to access some form of legal protection. however. This is problematic. reducing statelessness. in addition to the low number of States that have ratified the Statelessness Conventions. This generally consists of a renewable residence permit and travel documents. A lack of statelessness determination procedures does not necessarily mean a lack of protection for stateless persons. although such access is often subject to the same . and social services. employment. Hungarian Helsinki Comm. Ineligible for protection as refugees and without access to recognition as a stateless person. eg. at 59. Thus. Forgotten Without Reason: Protection of Non-Refugee Stateless Persons in Central Europe (2007). preventing statelessness. as many stateless persons do not have a well-founded fear of persecution and consequently do not qualify as refugees. During the fiftieth anniversary year of the 1961 Statelessness Convention. statelessness identification procedures.g. Gábor Gyulai. the UNHCR lead a campaign to increase protection of stateless persons by encouraging more countries to ratify the two Statelessness Conventions and by holding a series of expert meetings on their key provisions. and the status of stateless persons at the national level. UN Conventions on Statelessness.. See id. seventeen more countries acceded to the 1954 Statelessness Convention and/or the 1961 Statelessness Convention between 2011and 2012. Some States without formal statelessness determination procedures offer stateless persons a form of subsidiary protection. Id.UNHCR’s duties with regard to statelessness include identifying cases of statelessness. As a result of UNHCR’s efforts. Statelessness identification procedures are necessary because it is only once an individual has been recognized as being stateless that he or she is entitled to the protections of the 1954 Statelessness Convention and the relevant national legislation incorporating those protections. a major factor limiting protection of stateless persons at the national level is the general lack of statelessness identification procedures. these individuals often find themselves in legal limbo. Persons who qualify for subsidiary protection may also have access to education.

the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has recognized that in some cases. In ECtHR. See. e. Kurić and Others v. and pointed to a Constitutional Court ruling holding the procedures were unconstitutional as well as to the fact that the purpose of registering – particularly when the applicants were already included in a registry of permanent residents – was not adequately explained. and where the applicant and his family were eligible for Finish residency and under no risk of deportation). art.g. Nonetheless. Karassev and Family v. no. See African Children’s Charter. Act of 15 February 1962 on Polish Citizenship § 5. See. 31414/96. rights recognized in Article 8 of the European Convention. Institute for Human Rights & Development in Africa & Open Society Justice Initiative . For example. Judgment of 12 January 1999 (acknowledging Article 8 right. Judgment of 13 July 2010... 6. Cf ECtHR. States have also implemented measures for reducing statelessness in their nationality laws. Slovenia [GC]. Id. Some States provide access to nationality to children born on their territory to stateless parents. Forgotten Without Reason: Protection of Non-Refugee Stateless Persons in Central Europe 30 (2007).. See Gábor Gyulai.restrictions as are applied to foreign nationals within the State’s territory and in some cases amounts to a lesser form of protection than that granted to refugees. SELECTED CASELAW Access to Nationality  The European Convention on Human Rights does not address the right to a nationality. The Court held that Slovenia violated the applicants’ rights under Article 8 because the registration procedures were arbitrary and unlawful. no. lack of access to a nationality or the removal of stateless persons may infringe on an individual’s right to respect for his/her private and/or family life. Finland [GC].g. e. A large number of States consider abandoned children found within their territory to be nationals absent evidence to the contrary. despite conflicting reports on his citizenship from the Russian consulate. Hungary reduces its continuous residence requirement from eight years to five years for stateless persons. A number of States also provide more lenient naturalization requirements for stateless persons. 26828/06. even in the case of States not party to the 1961 Statelessness Convention. former citizens of the Socialist Federalist Republic were “erased” from Slovenia’s registry of permanent residents and rendered stateless when they failed to register as permanent residents or citizens during a prescribed period. In ACERWC. Hungarian Helsinki Comm. but finding no violation where Finland’s determination that the applicant was a Russian citizen was based on a legitimate interpretation of Russian law.  The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (African Children’s Charter) does explicitly recognize the right to a nationality. id.

17th Session.): The Immigration Appellate Authority of the U.  Kelzani v. The High Court held that indefinite detention of an unlawful non-citizen subject to removal from Australia was permitted under the Migration Act and that such detention did not violate Article III of the Australian Constitution. must show removal is likely in the foreseeable future or special circumstances warrant continued detention.S. 371 (2005). has taken a different approach.K. The Supreme Court later held in Clark v. Martinez. 533 U. Detention and Removal of Stateless Persons  In Al-Kateb v. 2009) 38. have no country willing to accept them. The tribunal also held that it was irrelevant that the travel document that had been issued to Kelzani by the Egyptian . held that the deportation of Kelzani. [2004] HCA 37. March 2011. Comm/002/2009. The Committee also found that the rigorous vetting process Nubian children were required to undergo to obtain identity documents amounted to discriminatory treatment for which there was no justification. Kenya. Godwin.K. did not violate Article 31 of the 1954 Statelessness Convention because “the control of immigration was necessary for maintenance of the public order” and his deportation order had been issued in accordance with the principles of due process. the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) found that Kenya had violated the rights of children of Nubian descent under the African Children’s Charter. Secretary of State for the Home Department [1978] Imm AR 193 (U. Communication No. the U. Davis. The Protection of Stateless Persons in Detention under International Law (Jan. In Zadvydas v. 543 U. Supreme Court. like Al-Kateb. (Working Paper). employment. Many children of Nubian descent in Kenya had been left stateless when they were neither registered nor given access to Kenyan citizenship upon being born in Kenya. Zadvydasconcerned two former permanent residents unable to be returned to their country of origin: Zadvydas who was of Lithuanian descent but who was de jure stateless and Kim who was a Cambodian national but whom the Cambodian government refused to re-admit. 678 (2001). on Behalf of Children of Nubian Descent in Kenya v.S. and health services. the Supreme Court held that in order to hold a non-citizen in detention pending removal beyond six months.  The U. that the reasonable time limit also applied to inadmissible aliens. the High Court of Australia upheld the indefinite detention of a stateless Palestinian from Kuwait.S. Finally. by contrast. a stateless Palestinian who had violated the terms of his visa by engaging in unauthorized employment and subsequently overstayed his visa. The decision was met with strong criticism and resulted in the issuance of Bridging Visas to individuals who. namely limited access to education. See Equal Rights Trust. the Committee held that the consequences of statelessness.S. thus violating their right to a nationality. also constituted a violation of the children’s rights under the African Children’s Charter.

The Court further noted that Botswana’s grant of registered citizenship to Modise was inadequate because registered citizens did not have the same rights as citizens by birth. government did not entitle Kelzani to permanent residence in Egypt. 97/93. Mapping Statelessness in The United Kingdom 67 (2011). Proposed Amendments to the Naturalization Provisions of the Constitution of Costa Rica. November 2000. Series C No. 19 January 1984. See UNHCR & Asylum Aid. Arbitrary Deprivation of Nationality  In I/A Court H. Communication No. which resulted in him living in poverty... The Court held Botswana had violated Modise’s rights under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights by not recognizing him as a citizen and by deporting him from Botswana. as there was evidence that he would be admitted to Egypt and have access to employment there. Judgment of September 8.R. 28thOrdinary Session. as he had been born in South Africa to a father who was a British Protected Person and therefore considered a citizen of Botswana following its independence. the Inter-American Court found that the proposed constitutional amendments granting preferential naturalization requirements to women married to Costa Rican men but not to men married to Costa Rican women would amount to discrimination under the American Convention on Human Rights. The Court held that Modise’s living conditions while he was stateless amounted to a violation of his right to respect for dignity. The Dominican Republic. The Inter-American Court also found a violation of Yean and Bosico’s right to an education. since the girls were unable to attend school as a result of not being issued birth certificates.  In ACommHPR. Modise v. 130. the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held that Modise was a citizen of Botswana by birth. the Inter-American Court of Human Rights held that the Dominican Republic violated multiple articles of the American Convention on Human Rights when it refused to issue birth certificates to Yean and Bosico. The Court also held that the provisions giving preferential treatment to non-citizens from Central American or other Spanish- . John K. 2005.R. The case has been widely criticized and there is some speculation that if a similar case were to be brought today it would come out differently. Equal Access to Nationality  In I/A Court H. Botswana. children born in the Dominican Republic to parents of Haitian descent. Case of the Yean and Bosico Children v. Advisory Opinion OC 4/84. The Inter-American Court held that the Dominican Republic’s interpretation of “in transit” in its migration and citizenship laws excluded ethnic Haitians born in the Dominican Republic from acquiring citizenship and that its treatment of ethnic Haitians in the Dominican Republic was arbitrary and discriminatory.

could face removal from Botswana as non-citizens and because the law discouraged marriage between citizen women and non-citizen men. that the Citizenship Act of 1984. 6 April 1955. Guatemala). which granted citizenship to the children of a Botswanan father and to children born out of wedlock to a Botswanan mother. a Botswanan woman married to a foreign national. a former German national who naturalized as a citizen of Liechtenstein shortly after the beginning of World War II. Dow (2001) AHRLR 99 (BwCA 1992). the Court of Appeal of Botswana held in Attorney-General v. violated the Constitutional guarantees of freedom from discrimination and freedom of movement and liberty since the children of the plaintiff.” The International Court of Justice in Nottebohm considered the deportation and seizure of property by the Guatemalan government of Nottebohm. conducted business in Guatemala. A proposed revision requiring foreign women who lost their nationality upon marriage to a Costa Rican man to wait two years before they could acquire Costa Rican nationality did not violate the right to a nationality under Article 20 of the Convention because it did not amount to an arbitrary deprivation of nationality on the part of Costa Rica. . speaking cultures did not amount to discrimination. and appeared to only have become a citizen of Liechtenstein so that he could be listed as a citizen of a neutral country during the War. Effective Nationality  Nottebohm Case (Liechtenstein v.  At the domestic level. Second Phase. but the Court cautioned that some of the women affected by the provision could be left stateless during the two-year period. The ICJ held that Liechtenstein’s claim on behalf of Nottebohm was inadmissible because Nottebohm had no real ties to Liechtenstein since he did not reside there. ICJ Reports 1955: Although Nottebohm does not specifically address statelessness. it has frequently been cited in statelessness studies because of its discussion of a “real and effective nationality.