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Court of Florence: Liberian citizenship legislation is discriminatory

Court of Florence, ordinance of 1 June 2022: Liberian legislation on citizenship is strongly discriminatory: stateless status to a boy born in Ghana to a Liberian mother.

The Court of Florence ascertained the stateless status of a boy born in Ghana to a Liberian mother and father who died before his birth.

The Court ascertained the applicant's stateless status since he was unable to acquire either Liberian or Ghanaian citizenship. Liberian legislation on citizenship, which is highly discriminatory, does not recognise the possibility for Liberian women to transmit citizenship iure sanguinis to their children, even in the case of an unknown father, and if the child was born abroad.

Ghanaian law, for its part, does not provide for the possibility of acquiring citizenship iure soli, and the naturalisation procedure is essentially inaccessible in the absence of documentation proving birth and legal residence, documentation that in the case of Liberian refugees is impossible to obtain.

Prof. Avv. Paolo Iafrate

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