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  • 22 January 2022
  • 3 replies

Userlevel 2

The following newspaper article (written in German) is not directly related to statelessness, but may still have some bearing.

Der folgende Zeitungsartikel hat keinen direkten Bezug zur Staatenlosigkeit, könnte aber dennoch interessant sein.

Rassismus in der Justiz: Schwarze Mütter stehen unter Generalverdacht - Frankfurter Rundschau

3 replies

Userlevel 3

Thanks @hgmichna. The article does connect to “right to a nationality” in Germany and unfortunately shows how such processes can hinder children from being registered at birth and therefore become at risk of statelessness :( .

For non-german speakers: 

The article addresses the topic of children's rights to a German nationality and the current situation in Bremen, that seems to mainly disadvantage women from Ghana and Nigeria: 

According to the article the registry office in Bremen (Germany) has been hindering children born to Ghanaian and Nigerian women to obtain nationality from a German father. In general: Germany mainly follows the principle of descent which means that a child becomes a German citizen if at least one of the parents is a German citizen.

Unfortunately, in a number of cases of children born to Ghanian or Nigerian women, the registry office argues that the man who acknowledged the paternity of their child is not the biological father or at least not the legal father. For this it is important to understand that the office differentiates between legal paternity and biological paternity. In the case of nationality it is the legal paternity that is important.

The registry office claims that:

1) the German man's acknowledgement of paternity only took place so that the child would thereby obtain German citizenship or that

2) even if the German man were the biological father, the mother might still be married to a non-German man and that

3)  the mother's supposed husband, and thus the legal father, presumably lives in the country of origin. 

The article also explains that this leads to a situation where the registry office refuses to hand out a birth certificate for the child until the case has been “clarified” and it is proven that the mother is not actually married. Not having a birth certificate definitely sets children at risk of statelessness or an unclear nationality… 

Thanks for sharing. This is really important.

Userlevel 2

Unless citizen registration works perfectly in the country of origin, it is simply not possible to prove that something like a husband does not exist. It is generally difficult to prove that something does not exist. Demanding it seems unfair and unjust. At least to me that seems pretty obvious.

Userlevel 5

This is such an important topic and shows how istitutional racism in Germany can create de facto statelessness and deprive people of their rights. Thank you for sharing it with us, I hope the report will lead to changes in these processes or at least to more political awareness...