First ID cards issued for children of Iranian mothers, foreign fathers abroad

July 6, 2021 - 17:23

TEHRAN – The first identification cards for children born to an Iranian mother and a foreign father living abroad were issued on Monday, IRINN reported.

Under a new nationality law, which was amended in 2019, Iranian citizenship is granted to children under 18 years with Iranian mothers.

The first group of children living in Iran obtained their Iranian nationality and identity booklet (shenasnameh) in November 2020.

Alireza Mahmoudi, head of the Iranian Consulate General in Dubai, said that "Today is a big day for Iranian mothers abroad. This big step was taken with the help of the Parliament and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other related organizations.

The first birth certificates were issued to the children of an Iranian woman married to a foreign man in Dubai (Marian and Lillian).

In December 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the registration started for the issuance of birth certificates for children of Iranian mothers abroad.

According to the law, children of Iranian women and non-Iranian men who were born before or after the law can be Iranian citizens in case the Iranian mother requested if they have no security problem before the age of 18.

These children, after reaching the age of 18, can apply for Iranian citizenship if not requested by the mother, then will be granted Iranian citizenship in case of no security problem.

Birth certificates have so far been issued to over 1,400 children in the country, Seifollah Aboutorabi, the National Organization for Civil Registration spokesman, said in May.

Statelessness: a global issue

Although Iran is not a party to the UN Conventions on Statelessness, the Government of Iran is taking steps towards the prevention and reduction of statelessness in the country.

While the law does not give mothers and fathers equal rights to confer nationality to their children, it represents significant progress.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees also has welcomed the law as a step toward reducing statelessness around the world.

UNICEF also welcomed the implementation of the Iranian nationality law.

Around the world, stateless people can face a lifetime of exclusion and discrimination and are often denied access to education, health care, and job opportunities – making them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
Worldwide, statelessness affects millions of people, leaving them without the basic rights and official recognition that most of us take for granted. Some 3.9 million stateless people appear in the reporting of 78 countries, but UNHCR believes the true total to be significantly higher.

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

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