This post is part of 10 Weeks of Action : Demanding funding and protection for grassroots justice defenders by calling on our community to sign the #JusticeForAll petition. Each week, we will spotlight how access to justice is critical to the advancement of different thematic issues.
Around the world, 1.1 billion people lack legal identity documentation, such as birth certificates, ID cards, and passports that can help prove their nationality or entitlement to citizenship. Without proof of citizenship, these individuals cannot vote, access health care, or go to school. Some are even left stateless or at risk of becoming so.
Citizenship is a foundational human right but in many countries gaining access to identity documents that prove citizenship can be difficult or even impossible. The process is complicated by lack of information, confusing bureaucratic processes, poor implementation of the law, or sometimes even outright discrimination.
Discrimination and exclusion based on ethnicity, religion, language, and gender often lies at the heart of people’s statelessness.
In 25 countries around the world today, women are not allowed to pass their nationality to their children on an equal basis as men. In more than 50 countries, women are denied equal rights to acquire, change or retain their nationality. These discriminatory laws result in wide-ranging human rights violations. Read more.
Grassroots justice defenders are helping people to understand their rights, navigate tangled bureaucracies, and challenge discriminatory policies. All around the world they are helping citizens, refugees and stateless people secure identity documents and access essential services. Join our call to fund and protect grassroots justice defenders by signing the petition.
- What more can we do to ensure citizenship #justiceforall?
- How are grassroots justice defenders and legal empowerment practitioners tackling the issue?
We look forward to hearing your thoughts!