Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Lecture | LUCIS What's New?! Series

To Register or Not to Register? Legal Identity and Birth Registration of Migrant Children in Morocco

Thursday 13 April 2023
Please register below
What's New?! Spring Lecture Series 2023
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

Judith van Uden will present preliminary findings of her ongoing PhD research and focuses in her lecture on how Middle Eastern and South Asian migrants deal with birth registration in Morocco. Birth registration and legal identity (the formal recognition as a person before the law) received a lot of attention by international actors, such as the United Nations. The Sustainable Development Goals, for example, devoted a target to it. Target 16.9 aims to provide legal identity for all, including birth registration, by 2030. The right to birth registration and legal identity is considered essential, because the underlying assumption is that the registration of birth, secures a migrant’s legal identity and hereby protects their human rights. For instance, lacking a legal identity can prevent migrant children from claiming their fundamental rights, such as access to education. The right to birth registration is, thus, understood as a ‘gateway right’ to other human rights, but how do migrants value the registration of their children’s births with authorities? What are the potential (legal) hindrances migrant parents encounter when registering their newborn in Morocco?

About Judith van Uden

Judith van Uden studied Cultural Anthropology and International Development Studies at Radboud and Wageningen University and is now a PhD candidate at the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society. She is part of the socio-legal research project ‘Living on the Other Side: A Multidisciplinary Analysis of Migration and Family Law in Morocco’. In a context where the European Union has migration agreements with Morocco, she asks in her research what the legal rights of migrants are in Morocco and how migrants and the receiving state deal with them in practice. She conducted online and on-the-ground ethnographic fieldwork to gain a better understanding about the ways in which Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian migrants deal with the formal and informal aspects of intimate major life events – marriage, divorce, birth and death - in Morocco. Her work focuses on belonging, access to justice and legal pluralism.

This website uses cookies.  More information.