South Africa: Give Us Our Birthright, Undocumented Children Tell Home Affairs

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'We want our identity documents' - the Civil Society Organisations collective commemorated Human Rights Day and International Migrants Day by displaying children's handmade 'identity books' and 'passports' outside Home Affairs in support of the campaign #DocumentUs and the rights of undocumented children.

A colourful group of demonstrators braved the Johannesburg weather on Tuesday 10 December 2019 as they gathered outside the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to raise their collective voices about the injustices faced by undocumented children in South Africa.

The group danced amid colourful "identity books" and "passports", constructed by children and displayed on strings tied between the pillars outside the department's entrance.

Undocumented children created their own South African identity books for the protest. (Photo: Chelsey Moubray)

"These are not just papers. These children are saying: 'these are the documents that I am longing to have so that when I am in school, I am like every other child'," said Thifulufheli Sinthumule, director of the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA).

The department is responsible for the registration of births in South Africa and the issuing of birth certificates, but restrictive policies are preventing hundreds of children from being granted their constitutional right to...

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