Author: Duri Baluch
This piece sheds light on the fate of over 80,000 (a rough estimate) Baluch children in Iran who do not have national identity cards. The children who do not have an identity due to the state negligence and the poverty of their families.
These children are born and raised in this geographical part of the globe have names, customs, tribes and ethnicity but no identity. They are born in their ancestral land and can qualify all the rules and laws of a required nationality, but are not recognized as citizens of a country. They are deprived of all the necessary government attention and support. Children, adolescents and the elderly who do not have a birth certificate for various odd reasons, do not receive any government support either. Talented and enthusiastic children, deprived of the right of education for not owning a birth certificate, stand behind the windows of classrooms for hours, but do not have the opportunity to attend classes and discuss science.
In recent years, the government has allowed these unregistered children to attend school by sending letters from the governors and district offices, but they will not have a degree and their academic and professional future remains ambiguous. Due to poverty, negligence of the families, their own parents’ identity cards which have not been renewed since monarchs ruled Iran, or due to the parents’ marriage to a relative or acquaintance across the border, children become victims of this situation.
The long and costly journey of obtaining a birth certificate, which is a human and legal right, discourages families and consequently forces children into anonymity.
Lack of access to the papers which can be easily verified and documented by a testimony from the local authorities, has made it very difficult and tedious for people who have to cross the winding corridors of offices. In addition, in recent years DNA test has become time consuming and very expensive. As majority of these children come from a poor background, their families cannot afford such a costly process. As a result hard-working children do not have supportive subsidies and are deprived of the opportunity of regular education with a bright future career.
Young and middle-aged people do not have the right to vote and determine their own destiny due to not possessing a birth certificate. In the census they are simply excluded . They do not have health insurance and it is sometimes observed that they die in their dilapidated homes due to the exorbitant costs of treatment in hospital. In addition, this ignorance is even to the detriment of society, because if these ignorant people commit crimes or offenses, it is not possible to identify them and they can easily escape the law.
Interestingly enough, among the unidentified people, there are those who visit with just one phone call with the least amount of hassle. They become registered. Yes, the same party members and capitalists who have influence and power in society. In this part of the world, money and connection play the first role, and without it, you will be even deprived of the blessings of existence.
In the hope of existence and identity.