Sept 22 Event: Achieving Equal Nationality Rights (Geneva)

The Permanent Missions of People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, The Republic of Kenya, Portugal and the United States, in collaboration with OHCHR, UNHCR, Equal Rights Trust, and the Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights have the pleasure to invite you to:

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Tuesday, 22 September, 13h – 14:30H

Light lunch will be offerred before the event.
French – English translation will be provided.

*RSVP required for those without UN badges. Please send RSVPs to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.*


Sept event photo Nepal

Ms. Dimitrina Petrova, Executive Director, Equal Rights Trust
Ms. Zahra Albarazi, Senior Researcher, Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion
His Excellency Mr. Boudjemâa Delmi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Algeria to the United Nations in Geneva
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
His Excellency Ambassador Keith Harper, U.S. Representative to the Human Rights Council
Moderator: Ms. Veronica Birga, Head of Women’s Rights and Gender Section, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Nationality laws in 27 countries prevent mothers from passing their nationality to their children on an equal basis with fathers. Over 60 countries deny women equal rights with men in their ability to acquire, change and retain their nationality, and to confer nationality to non-national spouses. This discrimination results in a range of other significant human rights violations and suffering for individuals and families, contributing to myriad problems, including: statelessness; lack of access to public education, health care and other social services; child marriage; gender-based violence; unemployment and poverty. These laws are also in conflict with state commitments under a number of international conventions. However, over the past decade over a dozen States have enacted reforms to remove gender discrimination from their nationality laws, while many others have committed to reforms through human rights review mechanisms and at international meetings. 

In the last year, the Equal Rights Trust has conducted research in two countries which have recently reformed their laws to remove gender discrimination – Indonesia and Kenya – and two countries which have yet to reform their laws – Nepal and Madagascar. The findings of this research illustrate the impact of gender discrimination in nationality laws and identify lessons for states seeking to reform and those hoping to influence them. 

At the side event, a representative from OHCHR will provide an overview of gender discrimination in nationality laws within a human rights framework and serve as moderator. The Equal Rights Trust will present the findings of its research and the recommendations in the report. One of the report’s primary researchers will provide greater detail about the report with specific reference to Kenya and Madagascar. Algeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations will share lessons learned from that country’s successful reform process and discuss the positive impact of reforms. A representative from UNHCR will discuss the link between gender discrimination in nationality laws and statelessness. The United States Representative to the Human Rights Council will highlight the need for international support for the realization of gender equal nationality laws worldwide and discuss potential avenues of support.


For further information please contact:

Catherine Harrington
Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights
Women’s Refugee Commission
catherineh (at) wrcommission (dot) org
Tel: +1 212 551 3143

Jim Fitzgerald
Head of Advocacy
Equal Rights Trust
Jim.fitzgerald (at) equalrightstrust (dot) org
Tel: +44 207 610 2786

Rachael Reilly
Geneva Representative
Women’s Refugee Commission
RachaelR(at) wrcommission (dot) org
Tel: +41 22 919 7102/ +41 79 912 8587



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