Stateless persons

Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons
Refugees International – Statelessness
An estimated 12 million people in the world are not citizens of any state and are therefore deprived of their rights. Stateless status often keeps children from attending school and condemns families to poverty. Because statelessness often originates in past conflicts and disputes over what constitutes national identity, granting citizenship, which can only be done by national authorities, is inherently difficult. 21 July 2008

Locked out: The 12 million people without a country, and their need to become a citizen
(CSM) The victims of shifting borders, politics, or the happenstance of birthplace, the world’s 12 million stateless people and their need to become a citizen are rising on the international human rights agenda.
Statelessness has nudged in alongside better-known issues such as access to clean water, refugee rights, and education as a top priority on the global humanitarian agenda of the United Nations, governments, and advocacy groups.
International advocacy groups have different motives for the new focus on a problem first identified in the aftermath of World War II. Some, including the Soros Foundation’s Open Society Institute, became conscious of the issue after the Sept. 11 attacks, when they started looking at how noncitizens were affected by the so-called war on terror. Other organizations began focusing on statelessness as part of a broader intellectual trend of exploring the powers and limits of the nation-state – the same trend that has led to international criminal courts. And although many of those involved with statelessness say that a half century after the problem was identified as a global predicament it is still widely ignored and misunderstood, they also say that they see attention beginning to snowball.
27 May
Exposing Statelessness: Understanding the Plight of Burma’s Rohingya

For decades, the xenophobic military junta in Burma has refused to recognize the Rohingya, a distinct Muslim ethnic minority living in western Burma, as one of the country’s many ethnic nationalities. As a result the Rohingya have suffered human rights violations, and a vast majority of them have been denied official recognition of citizenship.

1 April 2009
(The Hoover Institution) The Power of Statelessness
Many of today’s nonstate groups do not aspire to have a state. In fact, they are considerably more capable of achieving their objectives and maintaining their social cohesion without a state apparatus. The state is a burden for them, while statelessness is not only very feasible but also a source of enormous power. Modern technologies allow these groups to organize themselves, seek financing, and plan and implement actions against their targets — almost always other states — without ever establishing a state of their own. They seek power without the responsibility of governing. The result is the opposite of what we came to know over the past two or three centuries: Instead of groups seeking statehood through a variety of means, they now pursue a range of objectives while actively avoiding statehood. Statelessness is no longer eschewed as a source of weakness but embraced as an asset.1
11 March 2009
Refugees International — Nationality Rights for All: A Progress Report and Global Survey on Statelessness

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