Helping children understand their rights to citizenship

09 November 2017

Image: Citizenship for Children and Yound PersonsA new online training resource has been developed by the University of Bristol Law School (Prabhat, PI ESRC funded project) in collaboration with the Project for Registration of Children as British Citizens. It is intended to provide clarity for young people, parents and professionals about what British citizenship is and the registration process. 

The resource was developed as a result of research which found that many children are prevented from registering British citizenship, despite living nearly all their lives in the UK. While many children can become British through a process called registration, their legal situation is often complicated.

Issues often come to light when young people discover, for example, that they are unable to apply for university as home students.

'Many children are unaware of their precarious immigration status until a trigger point is reached.'

(Children's British Citizenship: exposing the barriers to registration. Bristol: University of Bristol)

The primary challenges to acquisition of citizenship are not found in the law as it exists in the books. The law currently gives the Home Secretary a discretionary power to grant citizenship to any child. Furthermore, both domestic and international law give strong protection for children’s rights, placing welfare and best interests at the heart of decisions concerning children. 

With this in mind, the open access training resource aims to help overcome these barriers by showing the pathways to citizenship.

Access the training resource

View the accompanying policy report: Children's British Citizenship: exposing the barriers to registration


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