Ensuring right to citizenship to every person and prevention of statelessness

By:

Maalini Ramalo

Affiliations:

Right2Citizenship Cluster

Policy Code:

2f3 Refugees and undocumented

Problem Statement:

This submission focuses on:
I. Malaysia’s gender discriminatory laws and policies that prevent both men and women from conferring nationality on their children and spouses;
II. The denial of the right to a nationality and resultant statelessness and human rights challenges faced by communities in Malaysia, such as the maritime community, the Bajau Laut (also known as Sama-Dilaut) and people of Indian origin;
III. The denial of every child’s right to a nationality in Malaysia;

Value(s) and Belief(s):

The right to citizenship is Fundamental right

Proposal of Solution:

Repeal gender discriminatory nationality laws and policies. In particular, amend the Federal Constitution to allow for:
(i) a child born to a Malaysian citizen to automatically acquire Malaysian citizenship, irrespective of the gender of the Malaysian citizen parent and whether the child is born in or outside of Malaysia; and
(ii) Malaysian citizens confer nationality on foreign spouses on an equal basis irrespective of the citizen spouse’s gender.

Ensure the comprehensive application of existing safeguards provided by the Federal Constitution to ensure that every child born in Malaysia, who will otherwise be stateless, is granted Malaysian nationality, regardless of the gender, ethnicity, documentation or immigration status of the parents.
Remove reservation on Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Federal Constitution to be amended to ensure that every child born in Malaysia, who will otherwise be stateless, is granted Malaysian nationality, regardless of the gender, ethnicity, documentation or immigration status of the parents.

Ensure that all children who are stateless or at risk of statelessness, including foundlings and adopted children, are granted nationality without discrimination and in compliance with Malaysia’s constitutional safeguards against statelessness.
.
Ensure all undocumented, stateless children in Malaysia have immediate access to public education

Ensure applicants’ access to the correct citizenship application forms and timely decision making on citizenship matters.

In accordance with natural justice, provide applicants for citizenship with full reasons for negative decisions.

Additional Information:

The Bajau Laut in Sabah, East Malaysia In east Malaysia, there are individuals and groups who are denied the right to a nationality and may be stateless or at risk of statelessness. Of particular concern are the Bajau Laut (Sama Dilaut) who reside predominantly around the coast of Sabah. The Bajau Laut are a collective of various semi-nomadic populations living in boats or in stilt houses in coastal areas or on islands. Many do not have identity documents and their births are often not registered. There are no estimates available as to the overall number of Bajau Laut affected by statelessness in Malaysia, but the number of children affected is thought to be high due to their high birth rates, migratory lifestyle and lack of documentation. Other populations of Bajau Laut people also reside in parts of the Philippines and Indonesia. Some groups still migrate between these three countries, which comprise their historical domain. Childhood statelessness amongst children born in Malaysia. However, the extent of statelessness amongst these populations remains unmapped and is therefore unclear. Some of these populations include: I. Children of migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees whose births are often not registered because their parents are undocumented and therefore are likely to fear approaching authorities to register births for fear or arrest, detention and deportation; II. Children born to parents with mixed nationality who are not married and where the mother is not a Malaysian citizen; III. Adopted stateless children; IV. Children born in welfare homes, foundlings and street children who often lack documentation due to discriminatory policies and poverty; V. Indigenous children throughout Malaysia who often face difficulties in obtaining documentation due to their migratory lifestyles, poverty, lack of awareness of the importance of obtaining documentation and isolation from government authorities; and VI. Foundlings who are no longer considered “new born”

Translation

Isu dan Polisi Semasa:

Nilai-nilai dan Kepercayaan:

Penyelesaian:

Informasi Tambahan:

The Bajau Laut in Sabah, East Malaysia In east Malaysia, there are individuals and groups who are denied the right to a nationality and may be stateless or at risk of statelessness. Of particular concern are the Bajau Laut (Sama Dilaut) who reside predominantly around the coast of Sabah. The Bajau Laut are a collective of various semi-nomadic populations living in boats or in stilt houses in coastal areas or on islands. Many do not have identity documents and their births are often not registered. There are no estimates available as to the overall number of Bajau Laut affected by statelessness in Malaysia, but the number of children affected is thought to be high due to their high birth rates, migratory lifestyle and lack of documentation. Other populations of Bajau Laut people also reside in parts of the Philippines and Indonesia. Some groups still migrate between these three countries, which comprise their historical domain. Childhood statelessness amongst children born in Malaysia. However, the extent of statelessness amongst these populations remains unmapped and is therefore unclear. Some of these populations include: I. Children of migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees whose births are often not registered because their parents are undocumented and therefore are likely to fear approaching authorities to register births for fear or arrest, detention and deportation; II. Children born to parents with mixed nationality who are not married and where the mother is not a Malaysian citizen; III. Adopted stateless children; IV. Children born in welfare homes, foundlings and street children who often lack documentation due to discriminatory policies and poverty; V. Indigenous children throughout Malaysia who often face difficulties in obtaining documentation due to their migratory lifestyles, poverty, lack of awareness of the importance of obtaining documentation and isolation from government authorities; and VI. Foundlings who are no longer considered “new born”