With your contribution Lawyers for Human Rights' Statelessness Project assisted 2 babies to be added to the liver donor list for life saving surgery. The babies, both approximately 1 year old, were denied life-saving treatment for liver failrue due to the fact that they did not have birth certificates.
1 year old Lungile* was denied a birth certificate, because his South African parents could not afford the R2100 necessary for DNA tests required by the Department of Home Affairs. LHR was able to arrange urgent DNA tests and use your Global Giving donations to pay for the tests. Lungile's birth was registered and is now being processed for surgery which will save his life.
8 month old Katleho's* mother's passport had expired shortly before her birth. The Department of Home Affairs refused to register her birth before her mother's passport was renewed. Unfortunately, her mother cannot travel to renew her passport, because Katleho needs regular treatment in preparation for the operation. She is still breastfeeding and her mother cannot travel without taking Katleho with her. Lack of a birth certificate means Katleho's mother cannot travel with her. After negotiations with Home Affairs, Katleho has been registered and is now in line to receive a liver.
A baby with liver failure may live up to 2 years, but the longer one waits to operate on them, the weaker they get, making the surgery more likely to be fatal for the baby. The strict requirements for birth registration caused these 2 babies to be unregistered, risking their lives. LHR is working on several strategic litigation cases which will make birth registration universally accessible to all children in South Africa.
Every child born in South Africa has the right to a birth certificate from birth. A birth certificate is crucial to establishing the child's nationality in South Africa or in the country fo their parents nationality. Section 28 of the Constitution protects every child's right to a name and a nationality from birth.
Since our last report, LHR has advised 60 children, 24 of whom are under the age of 4.
We thank you for your contrubution towards these childrens' lives.
*Not their real names