Rohani pushing birth registration of 'stateless'.
Some 22,000 birth certificates for people deemed "stateless" have been issued since President Rohani took office in 2013.
Some have been ruled stateless because their fathers are Afghans, while others were simply not registered at all because they were not born in a hospital and their parents never understood the need to register their births.
Almost a third of all those receiving papers belatedly were in Sistan va Baluchestan province, bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan, Governor General Ali Asvat Hashemi told the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA).
He blamed parental negligence for lack of birth certificates among many Iranian children, especially among the poorer classes. "As a result of parents' negligence, many children are not able to receive their birth certificates on time, and, if no action is taken early to resolve the problem, it gets more complicated over time," he said.
The legal deadline for registration of births in Iran is 15 days. A certificate and vaccination card issued by a hospital or health center, plus the birth certificates and ID cards of both parents have to be shown to get a birth certificate for the newborn.
For older registrants, the applicants should bring along two Iranians to attest to their nationality. The applicants should also bring their parents (or the father, at least) to the registration office; otherwise they have to face other legal processes.
The process is easier for those whose siblings have birth certificates. Sometimes the applicant may be asked to undergo a DNA test to confirm the biological relationship with parents or siblings. However, many are not able to afford that test.
All documents provided by the applicants are assessed after their Iranian nationality is ascertained by the National Organization for Civil Registration (NOCR).
During the complex process, if an applicant is found to be a foreign national, the applicant is sent to the Law Enforcement Forces and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be repatriated to their country.
The challenges are more difficult for children of Iranian women married to foreign nationals or men of unknown nationality. Most of these women are from poor families and ignorant about the law regarding marriage to foreigners and the fact that the birth of their children cannot be documented in Iran. Nationality comes from the father, under Iranian law.
To address this problem, the Majlis has long been considering legislation whereby children of all Iranian women who marry men with "unknown nationality" are issued birth certificates with their mother's last name. However, the Majlis has not yet taken any action on that bill--which still leaves children of fathers of known foreign nationality in limbo. Unlike in the United States, a person born in Iran does not gain Iranian citizenship by virtue of being born in Iran.
A birth certificate is one of the requirements for school enrollment. Schools have the legal right to refuse children admission without birth certificates.
Iranians without birth certificate face many other problems. They don't exist in the eyes of the law, and are in danger of remaining on the margins of society, or being shut out altogether.
Globally, one-third of children living in urban areas are not registered at birth, according to UNICEF.
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|Title Annotation:||Economy: Money and its impact|
|Publication:||Iran Times International (Washington, DC)|
|Date:||Jun 9, 2017|
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