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    The Forgotten Citizens of Baluchistan

    An Editorial

    According to the local reports, the number of people without ID documents in Sistan and Baluchestan province in Iran exceeds 100,000 out of which around 80,000 are children. The issue is serious and must be addressed. Due to deprivation and poverty, people in the area are unable to travel the required distances to obtain birth certificates. For a poor villager, it is not possible to travel a long distance to provincial capital Zahedan to get a DNA report. The people who live away from cities have no means or access to governmental facilities and cannot get birth certificates immediately after birth in local hospitals then after certain period they are required to undergo DNA test to prove the child’s biological relation and that is only possible in the provincial capital and the whole process of travelling to the city and conducting the test is a costly, unaffordable and a difficult process.

    Without ID cards, individuals are regularly deprived of their most basic rights. They cannot benefit from health services due to lack of insurance, they can not send their children to school, they do not have the ability to get a decent job, and the most at risk are women and children. Poverty, inaccessibility of the area and lack of transportation have made it difficult for Baloch citizens to visit the cities and apply for a birth certificate.

    The Islamic Republic of Iran does not provide accurate statistic about the number of Baluch citizens who do not posses an identity card, and in reality it minimizes the number of these forgotten Baluch citizens. The unidentified Baluch people are deprived of opportunities and already limited services a citizen enjoys in Iran.