Birth Registration: The First Step in Ending Statelessness

NAIROBI, 23rd September 2015 – The Nubian Rights Forum (NRF) in collaboration with UNHCR and the Department of Civil Registration have organized a 3-day mobile Birth Registration Campaign in Kibra, Nairobi. Today, the registration was conducted in three sites; D.C. Grounds in Makina, Kamukunji Grounds and AMREF Grounds in Laini Saba.

“The birth registration exercise is not limited to Nubians only. It is process that is open to all children and residents of Kibra. It is a universal right,” said Sultan of Nubian Rights Forum.

The Mobile Birth Registration exercise is a deliberate strategy in the context of marginalized and minority communities towards ending statelessness and in line with the right to nationality under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The Nubian Rights Forum plans to facilitate registration of 2000 children within the three days from 21 – 23 September 2015. Birth Certificates will be issued after 2 weeks.


Paralegals from Nubian Rights Forum are playing a critical role in educating members on the legal documents and assisting them to obtain identity documents with a focus on birth certificates, national identity cards, passports and death certificates. “One of the challenges we face as paralegals is illiteracy among members, they do not understand the procedures for obtaining the birth certificate” says Comfort, a law student and volunteer with Nubian Rights Forum. Namati and the Open Society Justice Initiative have partnered with NRF to establish a network of community-based paralegals in the Nubian Community in Kibra.

A birth certificate is a civil document which every child born in Kenya (regardless of nationality) is required to have. Birth certificates are critical while applying for identification documents and also to access basic services e.g. enrolment into institutions of higher learning, accessing financial services and health services in some circumstances.

By Wanja Munaita, UNHCR