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Madagascar: UNHCR welcomes new law giving men and women equal rights to transfer nationality to children

Briefing notes

Madagascar: UNHCR welcomes new law giving men and women equal rights to transfer nationality to children

3 February 2017
UNHCR's #IBelong campaign highlights the fact that 10 million people worldwide have no nationality and cannot go to school, get married, get a job or even see a doctor.

UNHCR welcomes a recent amendment to the nationality law in Madagascar, which gives men and women equal rights to pass on nationality to children. The new law also helps spouses and children to retain their nationality, if a partner or a parent loses theirs.

The nationality reform is an encouraging and important step in preventing and reducing statelessness. UNHCR will continue our support to the Government of Madagascar, its Parliament and civil society actors to implement the law. In Madagascar, we are also advocating for accession to the 1954 and 1961 statelessness conventions as well as the implementation of these instruments through national law.

In 2014, UNHCR launched the ambitious global #IBelong Campaign to end statelessness by 2024. The #IBelong campaign advocates for the removal of gender discrimination from nationality laws which is a leading cause of statelessness.

Most situations of Statelessness are a direct consequence of discrimination based on ethnicity, religion or gender. The law reform in Madagascar helps strike out one country off the list of 27 where women are still denied the same right to pass on their nationality to their children on an equal basis as men, making it the first to do so since the Campaign was launched.

Since the launch of the #IBelong Campaign, we have seen significant progress with States becoming Parties to the UN Statelessness Conventions - treaties that contain measures to help prevent and reduce statelessness. In addition, many countries have made significant strides to reduce the number of stateless persons in their respective territories.

Globally, 89 countries are parties to the 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, while some 68 are parties to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

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