The committee on the rights of the child 72nd

Women restricted in their right to convey citizenship to their children

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Women restricted in their right to convey citizenship to their children: While Section 3 of the Citizenship Act states that a person can acquire citizenship by descent if their mother or father is a Nepali citizen, other discriminatory legal provisions and practices curtail the right of women to pass on their citizenship to their children. For example, according to the Citizenship Act and Rules of Nepal, the children of Nepali women and foreign men can only access citizenship through naturalization, and not by right, through descent. There is no similar restriction on men. One of the consequences of the law is that state authorities in practice refuse to accept citizenship applications submitted only by mothers, as they require proof of the father’s identity to establish that he is not a foreigner. Though the Supreme Court has set precedents recognising equal rights of women, including through establishing the rights of married women and single women to transfer citizenship to children,13 women continue to face discrimination both in law and practice.

  1. Under the Citizenship Act, while there are no barriers to fathers independently securing citizenship for their children, it is extremely difficult for mothers to independently do so. This has led to cases in which children of single mothers are left stateless.

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