Nationality is an important aspect of a child’s identity and serves as a ‘gateway’ right, facilitating children’s access to and enjoyment of their other human rights. Stateless children are often denied equal access to rights such as education, health care, free movement and family life. Many grow up in poverty and on the margins of society. The impact of their childhood disadvantage extends into adulthood and even to subsequent generations.
Statelessness is never in a child’s best interests. Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) obliges States Parties to realise every child’s right to acquire a nationality and to ensure the implementation of this right, in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless.
The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion has developed a Toolkit for civil society on Addressing the Right to a Nationality through the CRC. It offers a collection of resources and tools which provide civil society actors – including NGOs, National Human Rights Institutions and Ombudspersons – with information and advice on how to promote the fulfilment of the child’s right to a nationality through leveraging the full potential of the CRC framework.