Bahrain looking into children’s citizenship cases

November 20, 2011

Bahraini authorities are looking into more than 2,000 applications for citizenship for children born to Bahraini mothers and foreign fathers.

A report published by the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) said that more than 3,000 people could benefit from the move if it is eventually endorsed by the passports and immigration authorities.

Under Bahrain’s citizenship law, Bahraini mothers cannot transfer their citizenship to their children, a fact that has left several children born to Bahraini mothers and non-Bahraini fathers without the Bahraini citizenship and the social, economic, and civil rights and benefits associated with it.

However, the Supreme Council for Women, the official authority seeking to elevate the status of women in the country, as well as several women’s rights groups have been pushing for the amendment of the law and allow Bahraini women to transmit their nationality to their children. Immediate benefits include free health and education advantages as well as social security and special state services.

A list of 372 children born to Bahraini mothers and foreign fathers had been submitted to the competent authorities and King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa granted them the Bahraini citizenship, BNA said.

King Hamad also issued a law to treat foreign wives married to Bahrainis and the children of Bahraini mothers married to non-Bahrainis on equal footing with citizens.

Now, efforts are focused on a second list to be drawn from the 1,632 applications for citizenship for 2,662 sons and daughters of Bahraini mothers that was submitted between 2004 and 2007. The 397 applications submitted in 2008 are also being reviewed, BNA said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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