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G. Nationality and statelessness

a. NATIONALITY

A Contracting State shall grant its nationality to a person born in its territory who would otherwise be stateless. Such nationality shall be granted:

1) At birth, by operation of law, or

2) Upon an application being lodged with the appropriate authority, by or on behalf of the person concerned, in the manner prescribed by the national law. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of this article, no such application may be rejected. (Article 1, Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness)

1) Who are citizens of the Philippines

Who are citizens:

1) Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of the 1987 Constitution;

2) Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines;

3) Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; and

4) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law. (Section 1, Article IV, 1987 Constitution)

b. STATELESS PERSONS

1) Concept

Stateless person – means a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law. (Article 1[1], Chapter 1, Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, 1960)

a) General obligation

Every stateless person has duties to the country in which he finds himself, which require in particular that he conform to its laws and regulations as well as to measures taken for the maintenance of public order. (Article 2, Chapter 1, Ibid.)

b) Non-Discrimination

The Contracting States shall apply the provisions of this Convention to stateless persons without discrimination as to race, religion or country of origin. (Article 3, Chapter 1, Ibid.)

c) Religion

The Contracting States shall accord to stateless persons within their territories treatment at least as favorable as that accorded to their nationals with respect to freedom to practice their religion and freedom as regards the religious education of their children. (Article 4, Chapter 1, Ibid.)

2) Juridical Status

a) Personal status

The personal status of a stateless person shall be governed by the law of the country of his domicile or, if he has no domicile, by the law of the country of his residence. (Article 12[1], Chapter 1, Ibid.)

Rights previously acquired by a stateless person and dependent on personal status, more particularly rights attaching to marriage, shall be respected by a Contracting State, subject to compliance, if this be necessary, with the formalities required by the law of that State, provided that the right in question is one which would have been recognized by the law of that State had he not become stateless. (Article 12[2], Chapter 1, Ibid.)

b) Movable and immovable property

The Contracting States shall accord to a stateless person treatment as favorable as possible and, in any event, not less favorable than that accorded to aliens generally in the same circumstances, as regards the acquisition of movable and immovable property and other rights pertaining thereto, and to leases and other contracts relating to movable and immovable property. (Article 13, Chapter 1, Ibid.)

c) Artistic rights and industrial property

In respect of the protection of industrial property, such as inventions, designs or models, trade marks, trade names, and of rights in literary, artistic and scientific works, a stateless person shall be accorded in the country in which he has his habitual residence the same protection as is accorded to nationals of that country. In the territory of any other Contracting State, he shall be accorded the same protection as is accorded in that territory to nationals of the country in which he has his habitual residence. (Article 14, Chapter 1, Ibid.)

d) Right of association

As regards non-political and non -profit- making associations and trade unions the Contracting States shall accord to stateless persons lawfully staying in their territory treatment as favorable as possible, and in any event, not less favorable than that accorded to aliens generally in the same circumstances. (Article 15, Chapter 1, Ibid.)

e) Access to courts

A stateless person shall have free access to the courts of law on the territory of all Contracting States. (Article 16[1], Chapter 1, Ibid.)

A stateless person shall enjoy in the Contracting State in which he has his habitual residence the same treatment as a national in matters pertaining to access to the courts, including legal assistance and exemption from cautio judicatum solvi. (Article 16[2], Chapter 1, Ibid.)

A stateless person shall be accorded in the matters referred to in paragraph 2 in countries other than that in which he has his habitual residence the treatment granted to a national of the country of his habitual residence. (Article 16[3], Chapter 1, Ibid.)

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