What the right hand giveth ...
..... the left hand takes away.I commented a week ago
on the proposed revisions to Indonesia's nationality laws.
As I understood it then, Our Kid would have dual citizenship of Indonesia and Britain until he's 18, when he'll have a choice to make. All eminently fair, sensible and in line with other countries.
'Er Indoors and I have even got as far as talking about getting 'properly' married, thereby removing any potential stigma to Our Kid - his birth certificate currently states that he was born out of wedlock.
There's a very good reason for this, one acknowledged by the many expat/Indo couples we are acquainted with. Where a couple with an expat husband follow the current full and proper marital procedures, any children of the union automatically assume his nationality. As expats we are bound by immigration rules and regulations which are very expensive
! The procedures involve trips to Singapore to obtain the visas, umpteen photos of varied sizes and variable background colours, and woe betide those poor folk with laid back ears ~ both must be visible. Then there are journeys to assorted offices, a time consuming activity best delegated to an agent or two.
Far better to 'live in sin', let the offspring have the mother's nationality, Indonesian, and save oodles of rupes.
A year ago, I quoted legislation committee member
, Nursjahbani Katjasungkana, as saying that the purpose
(of the new legislation) would be to erase as much as possible all discriminatory items in the existing law - especially those regarding women and children.
Well, all is not as it seemed
a week ago, let alone a year.The rehashed bill on citizenship has been criticized by a coalition of non-governmental organizations for allowing discrimination against women and endangering their rights.
The Network for Pro-women National Legislation Program said the latest draft of the soon-to-be-passed bill was rife with conditions that would leave women vulnerable to losing their citizenship.
The network's biggest cause for concern is Article 26, which stipulates that a female spouse will lose her citizenship once she marries someone of foreign nationality.
It said that the term contradicts a general principle that prohibits the revocation of citizenship because of marriage.
"This is discrimination against women, as a wife should not involuntarily lose her citizenship, aside from it being of her own free will," the coalition said in a statement.
There is no similar condition for Indonesian men marrying foreign women.
The Amended 1945 Constitution, 1999 Human Rights Law and 1984 Law on the Eradication of Discrimination against Women have disallowed discrimination based on marriage.
A major problem is that the legislature is rushing this bill through, probably so that they can say that they've actually done something other than discuss pornography.
And the result could well be that umpteen happily 'married' couples will end up being condemned by society, possibly even prosecuted, for not being properly betrothed, whilst our progeny are declared to be halal