Launch of International Campaign to End Gender Discrimination in Nationality Laws 26th Session Human Rights Council
Wednesday 18 June, 13h – 15h
Room XXV, Bâtiment E, Palais des Nations
Refreshments will be offered before the event at 13h.
French – English translation will be provided
The Permanent Missions of The Republic of Kenya, The Republic of Senegal, Portugal and the United States, in collaboration with UNHCR, UN Women, Equality Now, Equal Rights Trust, Tilburg University Statelessness Programme and the Women’s Refugee Commission, have the pleasure to invite you to the Launch of the International Campaign to End Gender Discrimination in Nationality Laws.
- Mr. Keith M. Harper, United States Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva
- Mr. Volker Türk, Director of International Protection, UNHCR
- Mme Faye Ramatoulaye Ba, Minister Counselor (Human Rights), Permanent Mission of Republic of Senegal to the United Nations
- Mr. James Kihwaga, Minister Counselor (Legal Affairs), Permanent Mission of Republic of Kenya to the United Nations
- Mme C. Eyssar Kochlef Ben Amor, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Tunisia to the United Nations
- Mr Sabin Shrestha, Executive Director, Forum for Women, Law and Development, Nepal
Moderator: Ms Jacqui Hunt, Director, Equality Now
Gender discrimination in nationality laws has far-reaching consequences on all aspects of family life and is a significant cause of statelessness. Twenty-seven countries worldwide continue to discriminate against women in their ability to pass on their nationality to their children on an equal basis as men. In addition, over 60 countries deny women equal rights with men to acquire, change or retain their nationality.
When women are unable to pass on their nationality to their children because of discriminatory laws, and children are unable to acquire their father’s nationality, they are often left stateless. The inability of women to confer their nationality on an equal basis as men can result in a range of restrictions for their children and foreign spouses, including in their ability to work, study, travel and their full participation in society generally.
Significant progress has been made to address gender discrimination in nationality laws with thirteen countries reforming their laws in the last 10 years. In light of gathering international momentum on this issue, a coalition of NGOs, UN agencies and academics has come together to launch an International Campaign to End Gender Discrimination in Nationality Laws. The Human Rights Council has also addressed this issue through Resolution A/HRC/20/L.8 of June 2012 and an OHCHR report presented at the 23rd session of the Council in June 2013.
One of the goals of the Campaign is to encourage governments to use the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women and the Beijing +20 review in March 2015 in New York as an opportunity to pledge to remove gender discrimination from their nationality laws, in compliance with the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action. The Human Rights Council has also addressed this issue through Resolution A/HRC/20/L.8 of June 2012 and an OHCHR report presented at the 23rd session of the Council in June 2013.
This side event will officially launch the International Campaign to End Gender Discrimination in Nationality Laws, led by a coalition of NGOs and supported by UNHCR and UN Women.
Representatives from Kenya, Senegal and Tunisia, three countries that have recently removed gender discrimination from their nationality laws, will share their experiences of how they achieved such reform. A Jordanian woman will explain how her family is affected by gender discrimination in her country’s nationality laws, and a representative of a civil society organization will describe efforts to achieve reform in Nepal. Representatives from the organizations coordinating the International Campaign will talk about the goals of the Campaign.
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