Cassadee Orinthia Yan


Citizenship is an essential aspect of nationality; it is formed by the laws of a country and influences an individual’s rights and freedoms. This article compares statelessness within the Kenyan and South African legal systems, and discusses case law and the views of legal scholars on statelessness in these jurisdictions. The article also reviews international laws that are supposed to ensure citizenship and protect stateless people. Its aim is to strengthen the legal framework of these countries in delivering people’s rights to citizenship or nationality. The reviewed legal framework includes the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya, Kenya’s Citizenship and Immigration Act of 2011, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, and the Citizenship Act of 1995. The article also interrogates the memberships of Kenya and South Africa in various international treaties related to the fight against statelessness and ensuring human rights, including the rights of minorities. The article draws similarities between aspects of the Kenyan and South African legal systems which impact statelessness, including discrimination through colonial rule, ethnicity, and gender.