Parents Demand ‘Girl’ be Listed by Given Name Skip to content

Parents Demand ‘Girl’ be Listed by Given Name

The parents of Harriet Cardew, the ten-year-old girl who has been refused a new Icelandic passport because her name is not on the Icelandic Naming Committee’s list of approved names are demanding that their daughter, as well as their son, Duncan Cardew, be listed in the National Registry by their proper names and not stúlka (‘girl’) Cardew and drengur (‘boy’) Cardew, as is currently the case.

The family’s lawyer, Ragnar Aðalsteinsson, intends to submit a letter to the Ministry of the Interior regarding the matter. Ragnar told that it is a violation of equality laws to allow local citizens of foreign origin to bear foreign names while different rules apply to individuals born in Iceland. “This results in having two groups in society with a different legal status,” he said.

“I believe that the Icelandic government cannot deprive an Icelandic citizen freedom of movement because of a dispute on whether and how names are registered in the National Registry,” he said, adding that although cultural and linguistic considerations are important, names are an important aspect of an individual’s identity and are protected under human rights law.

Harriet’s parents applied for and received an emergency British passport for their daughter after the National Registry decided not to renew her Icelandic passport.

As reported, Kristín and her husband, Tristan Cardew, who was born in the U.K., have four children together: Lilja and Belinda, born in France, and Harriet and Duncan, born in Iceland. As Harriet and Duncan have not been approved by the Naming Committee, their names are listed as stúlka (‘girl’) and drengur (‘boy’) Cardew in the National Registry and have appeared as such in their passports until now. Kristín and Tristan argue that Harriet and Duncan are being discriminated against because they were born in Iceland.

When the family went to renew Harriet’s passport ahead of a planned trip to France on Tuesday, they were told that the National Registry was no longer issuing passports to individuals without an approved name.

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