[Featured Resource] Sustainable Development Goal 16.9: ‘Legal Identity’ Nationality and Statelessness

This week’s featured resource is the Sustainable Development Goal 16.9: ‘Legal Identity’ Nationality and Statelessness from the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion.

This featured resource is In honor of the just concluded World Conference on Stateless held at the Hague between the 26th – 28th of June that saw a number of network members attend including @lauragoodwin @mustafa_mahmoud @lauraparker @natashaarnpriester @maaliniramalo @scira @lalitaY @urdu @yasahkym . We understand many of you who attended the Citizenship and Legal Identity Learning Exchange in Kenya last October presented on the exchange during the conference and we would be keen to hear more about how the conference went overall.

At least 15 million people face a life without nationality. Many more have no legal identity documentation and are at risk of statelessness. In many instances, the lack of legal identity documentation is primarily a resource issue, which can be resolved through spending more, increasing capacities and devising more efficient systems of registration and documentation. However, when the lack of legal identity impacts stateless communities or increases the risk of statelessness among certain groups, there is likely to be deeper, structural discrimination at play. Understanding that the denial of legal identity documentation is often a political choice, and that resulting exclusion and/or statelessness is the intended outcome of this choice, is imperative.

More about Sustainable Development Goal 16.9: ‘Legal Identity’ Nationality and Statelessness

Featuring three case studies, this booklet highlights different approaches into statelessness and draws lessons from them including:

  • How the Dominican Republic made 133,770 Dominicans of Haitian descent stateless overnight courtesy of a judgement in the Dominican Republic Constitutional court

  • How a process of identification and registration if motivated by xenophobic and discriminatory objectives can result in mass scale denationalization and exclusion of millions of people as is the case in Assam, India where an accord in 1985 between government and protestors was adopted following hundreds of people being killed in Anti-immigrant protests in the 1980s.

  • How the Roma minority in Serbia are affected by Serbian rules and regulations that a child of undocumented parents cannot be registered at birth until his or her parents (at least the mother) regulate their status and obtain personal documents thereby leaving children of undocumented parents without registration.

This resource also touches on progressive initiatives like the ID4D programme of the World Bank and UNDP spearheading the implementation of SDG 16.9 in partnership with States, development actors and private entities

You can access this resource in our library at the following link:

As always, please let us know your thoughts on this resource by commenting below. For more information reach out to @IleenVerbeek


The Featured Resource is a short profile of a key resource found in the resource library of the Global Legal Empowerment Network. These resources can be older or brand new, but they all touch on important themes within legal empowerment. If you have a resource you would like to profile with the network, upload it directly at this link or email it to community@namati.org

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I am very impressed with your post and happy to see Network members attended the conference that will share with us.

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