Stateless in Europe: ‘We are no people with no nation’

The Guardian reports: Sitting in the living room of her Berlin apartment, Sanaa* [her and her daughter’s name have been changed] watches proudly as her one-year-old daughter clings to the edge of a coffee table and hauls herself to her feet. Siba* squeals with delight, then drops back down with a giggle. Being a single mother is hard work, but filled with daily rewards. Sanaa, who fled the Syrian war, is just thankful for the chance to raise a child.

Experts are warning that children such as Siba could turn into a stateless generation. Though the infant was born in Berlin after her mother arrived from Damascus, there is no automatic German citizenship. And under Syrian law, a child can only inherit nationality from its father. As a single mother, Sanaa was well aware that Siba would be stateless.

“There is no paper for Siba in Syria. Because it’s the law, you don’t have any relations before you are married. People have boyfriends but it’s secret,” Sanaa says. “We just grow up and this is the rule. We didn’t know that the women in other countries can give their nationality [to their children], or we didn’t care because we would get married and the child would have a nationality.”[Continue reading…]

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