In this article, Valerie Peay, Director for the International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR), describes the profit-making scheme used by the UK government on children who apply for citizenship. Many of us have had those few moments of panic just before a holiday when you rummage in a drawer for your passport and can’t quite remember where you put it after the last trip.
Finally, your fingers find that comforting embossed emblem, then you see the golden lettering that confirms you are an entitled citizen of the European Union, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
But what if that panic is real?
Not only can you not find your passport you don’t have one. Perhaps yours is a lessor being with restrictions and or a temporary right to remain.
The rights and privileges that we take for granted are embodied in that document. It holds the key to our prosperity, our happiness, our ability to explore and to become a contributing member of society.
We may not think about it, but the right to leave the country and come back, the right to ask the state for support and sometimes safety when we need it, even the right to ask for financial help – like a student loan – are all things which are dependent on our citizenship.
So imagine being able to qualify for all of those life-changing privileges, only to discover they are unattainable because of the cost. Many people will already have paid expensive fees to a lawyer to find out that even filling out the form places this badge of identity beyond their reach.
This is the reality for thousands of families in the United Kingdom today who have every chance of meeting citizenship criteria, if only they had the money to apply. Read more