Liberty News – Four Campaigns: Four Actions

I notice that the Liberty organisation is planning to focus on four new campaigns:

For Their Eyes Only

No Snoopers’ Charter

Common Values

Extradition Watch

It’s all very commendable but it’s a shame that Liberty still haven’t addressed the ongoing inequality issue regarding British Citizenship by Descent. However, looking at the details about the “Common Values” campaign – Human rights are about dignity, equality and respect – it would seem appropriate and indeed justified to include the Campaign for Citizenship Equality!

About the Human Rights Act:

The Human Rights Act is a UK law passed in 1998. It means that you can defend your rights in the UK courts and that public organisations (including the Government, the Police and local councils) must treat everyone equally, with fairness, dignity and respect.
 
and:
 
 
All of the rights and freedoms contained in the Human Rights Act must be protected and applied without discrimination.
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15 people deprived of British citizenship

This is shocking (and potentially worrying) news:

15 people have now been deprived of British citizenship including 5 who have been British since birth.

Read more: http://www.foreignersinuk.co.uk/news-news-15_deprived_of_british_citizenship_3954.html

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International Women’s Day 2012

It’s International Women’s Day and the UK still discriminates against those of us born abroad before 1983 to British mothers.

Will British mothers ever be granted the same rights as (married) British fathers have to pass on their citizenship?

This ongoing inequality is a disgrace to the United Kingdom.

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Immigration Decision Provokes ‘Secret Justice’ Fight

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, is in the news because she is refusing to disclose why some immigrants have been refused British citizenship. Her refusal has triggered a legal battle over “secret justice”.

This news story in The Huffington Post caught my eye because of two points in particular:

Theresa May declared that she was not satisfied the unsuccessful applicants were “of good character”.

and

In written statements before the court, Eadie [James Eadie QC, representing the Home Secretary] argued that naturalisation was “a privilege not a right”

This begs a couple questions: Why should those of us with a British parent be required to register, and provide two references, as well as undergo a background check and be of “good character” and have to be approved before we can claim our right to British Citizenship? And does this ruling mean that some of us might be refused, and never be told why?

Furthermore, having a British parent does give us the “right” to claim British citizenship!

To be British by descent is a birthright. The Government currently recognises this for some but not all.

It’s hard to believe that this blatant inequality is ongoing. It’s time for this unjust law to be corrected once and for all.

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Royal Succession Rules: Change Proposed to Correct Gender Inequality

This is interesting (and apropos) news regarding proposed changes to the British Monarchy:

Royal succession – Equality and the monarchy: Proposed new rules would give daughters the same rights as sons (link via Economist)

It’s incredible that the Government is concerned about changing the sexist royal succession rules but condones the ongoing discrimination against those of us born before 1983 to British mothers!

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Children born abroad before 1983 to British mothers

The UK still discriminates against those of us born abroad before 1983 to British mothers.

Prior to 1983 children born outside of the UK to British mothers but foreign fathers did not have a claim to British citizenship. That right was only passed through British fathers.

Last year (13 January 2010), the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 came into force which means you are  finally granted the right to British citzenship via your British mother.

However, it was only “a right to register as a British citizen” and you would also have to pay £540 to claim your British citizenship! This was outrageous since anyone born in the same circumstances after 1983, or at anytime to a (married) UK father, could simply complete a passport application without the need to register and without any fee.

There was a public outcry (quite rightly) from myself and many others about this blatant discrimination. Consequently, the law was amended in November 2010 and the application fee (which had actually gone up to £550 during the year!) was removed.

However, we still have to register and must pay an administrative fee of £80 to cover the cost of a citizenship ceremony.

We are entitled to British citizenship by descent but because of our circumstances –  born abroad before 1983 to a British mother -citizenship is not automatically granted. Instead, we must apply for citizenship and register (which means providing two referees) and also attend a citizenship ceremony.

It’s blatatant discrimination to require an application (which can be denied) and the ceremony (which is intended for those without a British parent).

The right to “register” is not the same as the right to claim British citizenship (without conditions) which we are entitled to.

I reject this unfair path to British citizenship, and I’m campaigning for citizenship equality. It is time for this unjust law to be corrected once and for all.

I welcome your comments and/or questions about this issue.

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Children born to unmarried British fathers

Children born out-of-wedlock, before 1 July 2006, to British fathers, are completely excluded from acquiring British citizenship by descent.

It’s bad enough that the UK discriminates against all those born abroad before 1983 to British mothers (by requiring registration, good character check, and a ceremony) but it’s even more shocking that the UK completely excludes a group from acquiring British citizenship by descent.

To be British by descent is a birthright. The UK currently recognises this for some but not all. It’s a disgrace that all British parents don’t have the same (equal) right to pass on unconditional British citizenship to their children.

Are you one of those affected by this discrimination against children born before 1 July 2006, to unmarried fathers?

Please share your thoughts about this in the comments.

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