NUSA urges South Africa to register birth of children of foreign parentage

By Peter Ejiofor
The Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA) has urged South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs to reconsider its stance on the registration of birth of children born to foreign parents.

The President of NUSA, Mr Collins Mgbo, made the appeal on Tuesday in a statement emailed from Johannesburg, South Africa.

“This is necessary because the refusal to grant them a birth certificate as required by the Death and Birth Registration Act is in contravention of Section 28 of the Constitution of South Africa which mandates every Government institution and organs alike to prioritise the interest of the child in all decisions and matters affecting the child. 

“The South African courts have ruled, many times, that it is in the best interest of the child to have a birth certificate and access to a nationality.

“However, this is not implemented, especially by the Department of Home Affairs, hence various regulations and practices in South Africa are resulting in hundreds of children existing without birth certificates in South Africa today because the child is not entered into the National Population Register.

“This is causing a huge problem for children of non-South Africans born in South Africa, therefore, creating barriers to accessing services, basic child and human rights, education and health services,’’ Mgbo said. 

He added: “It is set in international law that every child – wherever they are born, and whoever they are born to – must have their birth registered, meaning that even the children of non-South Africans should be registered officially in the country where they are born. 

“We are appealing to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Nigeria, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama to look into this matter seriously considering the effect it has on these innocent children. 

“This forms part of the basic architecture for Nigeria-South Africa foreign economic relations as embodied in the activities of the bi-lateral commission established in 1999.’’ 

He noted that NUSA in its New Year resolutions, resolved to liaise with the Department of Home Affairs to look into the matter and grant these innocent children their rights. 

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