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 “Development of Human Resources for Rural Areas, Malaysia was established to promote strong and self-reliant community through people’s empowerment initiatives. More than a decade in implementing community development programme exposed us to the compromised conditions individuals and families live in due to lack of identity documents. Without a green birth certificate or/and a blue Identity Card (yes, colour does matter) these individuals do not have access to the fundamental rights in the country. In this globalized era where people move freely across international borders, it is appalling to know that there are individuals who are born in this country and yet afraid to leave their door step due to lack of identity documents. Having denied the necessities for basic wellbeing, their life is wrapped around uncertainties – pulling the next generations into a cycle. Recognizing the dire need to break the vicious cycle, DHRRA plunged into the effort to facilitate (late) birth registration and address statelessness in Malaysia through problem solving, capacity building and raising awareness – hand in hand with government agencies, people’s organization, community leaders, and other stakeholders. What started from a direct service has led to a system change approach to inspire development in the policies to address statelessness in Malaysia at its core. Addressing this fundamental issue is vital – for individuals to be able to take charge of their lives. “

Saravanan M. Sinapan

President of DHRRA Malaysia

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