Operational Context

Tajikistan is not party to the 1954 or 1961 Conventions; however, it is a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which includes the right of every child to acquire a nationality and immediate birth registration.

A government pilot project launched in 2014 identified 11,207 children who were stateless or of undetermined nationality. By the end of 2017, 6,911 of them acquired or confirmed Tajik nationality. Statelessness in Tajikistan primarily emerged after the dissolution of the former Soviet Union. The majority of persons at risk of statelessness are former USSR citizens who left Tajikistan under the existing Constitution and who have subsequently returned to Tajikistan. The main causes of statelessness are migration, gaps in nationality legislation, and policy or administrative obstacles preventing the acquisition of nationality.

Additionally, parents with undetermined nationality face challenges in registering the births of their children. The national authorities will not issue a birth certificate for the newly born child of parents without identity documentation, leaving the child at risk of statelessness. If not addressed, the problem of statelessness has the potential to grow exponentially.

Jumagul and Ergash’s family was stateless. After Jumagul was recognized as a citizen of Tajikistan, the children were able to acquire birth certificates, an important step in acquiring Tajik nationality. Khatlon region, Tajikistan ©UNHCR

Strategy Objectives

1. Improve birth registration to prevent statelessness

Goal: Jointly advocate for bringing national legislation and CRVS procedures in line with international human rights standards, which ensure all children born on the territory have access to birth registration and the right to nationality.

 

Strategy Timeframe: 2018 to 2021