No to racism from the baby’s cot… the first child born in Greece to migrants to be registered so she can gain Greek nationality
Posted by clandestina on 26 May 2009
Kukua Williams, born in Athens to Ghanaian parents 17 months ago, yesterday [Sunday] became the first child born in Greece to migrants to be registered so she can gain Greek nationality. The Municipality of Kaisariani attempted to highlight the gaping hole in the country’s legislation, which effectively leaves such children with no legal status, during a public registration yesterday. The ceremony was of symbolic nature and Kukua faces a battle to gain full citizenship.
CAMPAIGN “NO TO RACISM FROM BABY’S COT” INVITATION
Under the initiative of the Municipality of Kaisariani and in collaboration with the campaign “No to racism from baby’s cot,” an unusual event is before us!
In fact, on Saturday 23 May at 7 o’clock in the afternoon in the central square of Kaisariani an event will take place, a symbolic ceremony, the registration of a child of an immigrant from Africa in the municipality’s registrar. The child is a 17 months old girl, born in Kaisariani, that cannot be registered in Municipality Roll and as a result it is essentially non-existed, as it is deprived of its rights and does not have a birth certificate neither in Ghana, nor in Greece. This is a well known fact for all immigrants’ children born in Greece. The symbolic registration will be made by the Mayor of Kaisariani, Spyros Tzokas.
The symbolic ceremony that will take place under the campaign “No to racism from baby’s cot” seeks:
- to reveal the problem of immigrants’ children born on the Greek territory who cannot be registered in the municipality, and as a result they are deprived of elementary citizen rights deriving from this registration.
- to inform and sensitize the Greek public opinion and develop a feeling of solidarity with the big human and social problem of hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their children, who, while living among us in the cities and the neighbourhoods, are deprived of the most basic rights.
- to reveal the long-term unwillingness of the Greek State to grant the rights that each citizen in the country enjoys, to our immigrant neighbours.
- to show that the citizens themselves and some democratic institutions have decided not to be fatalistic and wait until the State decides to include the immigrants in our society, and thus they begin to carry out exemplary initiatives.
- to start the campaign at the level of local government in order to terminate this scandal towards the immigrants who remain without any rights.
Moreover, this campaign aims at protecting and supporting the immigrants in this period of economic crisis, which may even get worse. With the use of the economic crisis and its sweeping consequences, the first that will be called (by the state and by the political establishment) to pay for it will be “obviously” once again the immigrants and, particularly, their children who remain unprotected due to lack of legislation.
Consider participating in this event, an initiative of the Municipality of Kaisariani and the campaign “No to racism from baby’s cot.”
There will be a cultural program and celebration with music and dance from migrant groups after the ceremony.
Our demands are:
1. Attribution of Greek citizenship to immigrants’ children born in Greece or having completed three years in the Greek education system.
2. Attribution of residence permit of indefinite duration to all children and youth born or to be born in Greece or having attended the Greek education system, independent of the status (legal or not legal) of their parents.
3. We demand the amendment of the Greek Nationality Code from the ius sanguinis principle (law of bloodline, current foundation) to a ius soli principle (law of soil) for all individuals born in Greece or for any minor who completes three years in any level of the Greek education system (and with the possibility of reaffirmation of the demand by the claimant when reaching adulthood).
4. In any case, institution of the residence principle as a base for the acquisition of citizenship, founded not on origin or place of birth, but on the person’s special bond with the place where his domicile and work are situated.
5. We demand both the article 27 of Greek Nationality Code and the article 14 of the Municipal Code’s amendment so as the acquisition of status as a member of the municipality will be dissociated from the acquisition of Greek nationality and will be linked with the reality of the permanent residence. The immigrants’ affiliation to their municipality should be established independently of nationality status (see the examples of Spain, Finland, Slovakia).
6. We demand the establishment of Local Immigrants Councils with a consultative role in the municipal decision and policy making.
7. Attribution of voting rights to municipal elections for anyone who can prove a 5-year legal residence in Greece.
Laureta Macauley: 693-8387351/ Sonia Mitralia: 693-2295118,