Hundreds of demonstrators, including children, gathered at Riad al-Solh Square in downtown Beirut on Sunday to demand the right for Lebanese women to pass on their citizenship to their children. Under a law dating back to 1925, Lebanese women married to foreigners cannot confer nationality on their children and spouses, only the children of Lebanese men are eligible for citizenship.
Bolstered by the campaign ‘My Nationality, My Dignity’, hundreds of activists were seen waving Lebanese flags and Lebanese passports, shouting slogans and holding protest signs to demand the abolition the law which has been criticised for placing some children at risk of statelessness.
Mustafa Shaar, President of the Individual Initiative Association for Human Rights made his demand clear, stating that “most of us will not get out of the street except with a direct promise from the prime minister that he is putting the decision on the government’s agenda.”
Under this law, children denied Lebanese citizenship cannot work in certain fields or access public healthcare. They also need a residence permit to stay in the country, renewable every three years and need a work visa to be legally employed in Lebanon.
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