Author Archives: afea

Kenya: Expiry of registration of stateless persons provision the citizenship and immigration act was assented on the 27th of August 2011 and commenced on the 30th August 2011. Looking back at the implementation of the act, it has room for the registration of stateless persons under section 15. (1) A person who does not have an enforceable claim to the citizenship of any recognized state and has been living in Kenya for a continuous period since 12th December, 1963, shall be deemed to have been lawfully resident and may, on application, in the prescribed manner be eligible to be registered as a citizen of Kenya if that person— (a) has adequate knowledge of Kiswahili or a local dialect; (b) has not been convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of three years or longer; (c) intends upon registration as a citizen to continue to permanently reside in Kenya or to maintain a close and continuing association with Kenya; and 16 No. 12 Kenya Citizenship and Immigration (d) the person understands the rights and duties of a citizen. Sadly this provision is soon to expire as subsection (2) states: Applications under this section shall be made within a period of five years from the date of commencement of this Act and may by the notice in the gazette be extended by the cabinet Secretary for an additional period of three years. According to UNHCR Kenya, there are over 20,000 stateless persons in Kenya, however, 5 years down the line after this law was passed no single stateless person has been registered. Many of them do not meet the thresh hold of 1963 while at the same time there are no procedures for the registration of such persons. What do you think can be done to make such provisions more inclusive than exclusive? Since section 15 and 17 expires by August 2016, what are the plans for the extension? How can the government be pushed to register these stateless population? What can be done to push the government to implement this provision? __________________________________________________________________ Some individual responses @lauragoodwin @Purity_Wadegu @Naima_Rajab @Lore Thanks very much @mustafa_mahmoud for highlighting this issue, however, you know as I know that this is one of the best laws enacted in Kenya which cannot be enforced. The threshold set in section 15 (1) is too high for most (if not all) of the statelessness persons. Secondly, there is no statelessness determination procedure in place to outline the “where, who, and How”. Naima_RajabNaima Ibrahim -Amendment of such provisions by tabling a bill in parliament would be a good way to start. Getting hold of our member of parliament with regard to this issue is what we should do. There should be no time limit for the registration of stateless persons in Kenya as long as one meets the criteria in subsection 1 of the section. Currently, there is a Registration and Identification of Persons Bill in parliament which mentions nothing to do with the extension of the provision. Civil society groups should build pressure so as to push the government to implement the provision. mustafa_mahmoudNamati -So is it the law that has problem or the implementation? What about those who are left through the cracks of the law like those born after 1963? Lore -I agree that it’s one of the best laws enacted but the law is still not being implemented. How do we push for implementation? We at AFEA join hands with parties interested in pursuing this matter as a human rights issue. We are particularly interested in the rights of people with disability who may by virue of their condition been barred or been unable to access services that would enable them fulfil the requirements. On the whole there seem to be opportunities for ;