News ID: 259915
Published: 1150 GMT October 08, 2019

UNHCR welcomes Iran’s new law allowing women to pass citizenship to children

UNHCR welcomes Iran’s new law allowing women to pass citizenship to children

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in a statement on Tuesday welcomed a recent move by Iranian government’s amendment of a law allowing children born to Iranian women and non-Iranian fathers to acquire Iranian nationality, regardless of whether they are born on Iranian territory.

The law was signed by the Head of the Parliament and submitted to the government for implementation on Tuesday, marking a major step towards reducing statelessness in Iran and around the world, the statement added.

On Wednesday, Iran's Guardian Council ratified the law more than four months after the proposal was passed by the parliament.

According to the new law, even children under 18 years old will now be able to obtain Iranian citizenship if their Iranian mothers files the application. Those who are 18 and above can apply for Iranian nationality themselves. The law further specifies that persons without nationality can also apply for Iranian citizenship once they turn 18, if the individual and one of his or her parents was born in Iran.

A survey conducted by the government in 2017 indicated that there were nearly 50,000 children who, because they are born to Iranian mothers and non-Iranian fathers, couldn’t obtain the official identity document known as ‘Shenasnameh’.

“No child chooses to be stateless,” said Ivo Freijsen, UNHCR Representative in Iran. “Without an identity and official documents, stateless people are often excluded from society. The Iranian government is leading by example through its new law. It is a hugely positive move for these children and their families.”


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