Four groups of children are particularly affected by statelessness in Nigeria. These are children who are born stateless in Nigeria due to lack of legal safeguards against statelessness and other practical obstacles, children born in Nigeria without appropriate birth registration, children who came to Nigeria as refugees originating from neighboring countries and children displaced internally as a result of conflict and terrorism in various Nigerian States.
On October 17th 2016, we launched a community engagement initiative, I Belong Campaign in Nsit Ubium, in Akwa Ibom State, in collaboration with educational institutions and Nsit Ubium Legislative Council with a focus on ensuring that every child is properly registered at birth to reduce statelessness. This campaign promotes the rights of stateless children and the access to birth registration and civil registration documents as well as ensuring that for every child’s and parents ethnicity, nationality, documentation or migration status. Additionally, our campaigns also improve data collection and analysis of the situation of children not registered at birth and advocate for gaps in birth registration to be closed through legislation, policies and practice.
We also engage with The International Conference of Chief Justices of the World through knowledge building, advocacy and lobbying, capacity building, facilitation of policy-to-practice linkages, encouraging and assisting the world Judiciary and governments to undertake actions to address critical gaps in the legal protection of children.
From March 25th– 26th 2018 we conducted training programmes for local judicial officers, civil registry officials, immigration officials and case workers involved in law enforcement with the aim of creating awareness on appropriate legal and policy response to prevent and reduce child statelessness in our communities.
On April 15th, 2018, in collaboration with the office of the Deputy Chief whip of Nsit Ubium Legislative Council, we co-hosted a Conference On Everyone’s Right to a Nationality that brought together local parliamentarians from around Nsit UBium Communities and helped raise issues of law reforms and legislations that would ensure that no child is born stateless, even those in the internal displaced persons camps.
Other activities include strategic consultations, policy and legislative advocacy as well as research work towards reforming nationality laws to ensure that all stateless children in Nigeria can enjoy their rights and access services as per the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Furthermore, the organization monitors governments’ compliance with the statelessness conventions and other international treaties on a continuous basis.
Living Values Children Education Foundation
Objective(s) being furthered:
- Ensure that no child is born stateless
- Eliminate laws and practices that deny children nationality on discriminatory grounds
- Improve birth registration to prevent statelessness