Citizenship Programme

In Partnership with Global Pan African Movement, the International Refugee Rightsinitiative and the Open Society Justice Initiative the Citizenship Rights in African Initiative(CRAI) was launched in Kampala in 2007. CRAI is a campaign dedicated to endingstatelessness and the arbitrary denial of citizenship in Africa.

‘Any serious talk of building a United States of Africa must begin with the need toguarantee full citizenship rights to all Africans, and the complimentary freedomsto move, settle, work and participate in the political processes anywhere they maybe.’ Dr T Abdul-Raheem. (Late Chair of PADEAP)

The question of citizenship is central to a number of political conflicts and violations ofhuman and people’s rights in Africa today. The rights of citizens in a particular polity,the rights of non citizens especially African migrants, refugees and residents in otherAfrican countries are explosive issues that are often swept under the carpet of ongoing discourse and initiatives.

In most cases these non-citizens are usually long termresidents, second and even more generations of African migrants and settlers in otherAfrican countries. Often the narrow interests of governments and different politicalinterests disregard the fine texts of these legal instruments when it comes to treatmentof ‘aliens’, ‘foreigners’, who are usually blamed for all kinds of economic and politicalproblems.

The legal protection of Human Rights is too strongly in favour of individual rights and atbest, ambiguous on people’s rights. This is one of the reasons why the African charteron human and people’s rights was adopted by the AU member states. Our aim is to builda network of Advocacy groups to focus on these issues and work towards the adoptionof an African Charter on Citizenship.

OCTOBER 2010 - African conventionTheme: The protection and assistance of internally displaced persons in Africa.
40 years after African leaders adopted the 1969 Refugee Convention, the African Unionwith several of the Continents leaders met in Kampala to endorse a convention onInternally Displaced People.