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This article is about persons lacking state affiliation. Statelessness_sentence_0

For other uses, see Stateless. Statelessness_sentence_1


Total populationStatelessness_header_cell_0_0_0
Regions with significant populationsStatelessness_header_cell_0_1_0
Asia and the PacificStatelessness_header_cell_0_2_0 1.582 million registeredStatelessness_cell_0_2_1
AfricaStatelessness_header_cell_0_3_0 715,089 registeredStatelessness_cell_0_3_1
EuropeStatelessness_header_cell_0_4_0 570,534 registeredStatelessness_cell_0_4_1
Middle East and North AfricaStatelessness_header_cell_0_5_0 372,461 registeredStatelessness_cell_0_5_1
AmericasStatelessness_header_cell_0_6_0 2,460 registeredStatelessness_cell_0_6_1

In international law, a stateless person is someone who is "not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law". Statelessness_sentence_2

Some stateless people are also refugees. Statelessness_sentence_3

However, not all refugees are stateless, and many people who are stateless have never crossed an international border. Statelessness_sentence_4

On November 12, 2018, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees warned there are about 12 million stateless people in the world. Statelessness_sentence_5

Causes Statelessness_section_0

Conflict of law Statelessness_section_1

Conflicting nationality laws are one of the causes of statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_6

Nationality is usually acquired through one of two modes, although many nations recognize both modes today: Statelessness_sentence_7


  • Jus soli ("right of the soil") denotes a regime by which nationality is acquired through birth on the territory of the state. This is common in the Americas.Statelessness_item_0_0
  • Jus sanguinis ("right of blood") is a regime by which nationality is acquired through descent, usually from a parent who is a national. Almost all states in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania grant citizenship at birth based upon the principle of jus sanguinis.Statelessness_item_0_1

A person who does not have either parent eligible to pass citizenship by jus sanguinis can be stateless at birth if born in a state which does not recognize jus soli. Statelessness_sentence_8

For instance, a child born outside Canada to two Canadian parents, who were also born outside Canada to Canadian parents, would not be a Canadian citizen, since jus sanguinis is only recognized for the first generation in Canada. Statelessness_sentence_9

If the child were born in India and neither parent had Indian citizenship, then the child would be stateless since India only confers citizenship to children born to at least one Indian parent. Statelessness_sentence_10

By sex Statelessness_section_2

Although many states allow the acquisition of nationality through parental descent irrespective of where the child is born, some do not allow female citizens to confer nationality to their children. Statelessness_sentence_11

Women in 27 countries cannot pass their nationality onto their offspring. Statelessness_sentence_12

This can result in statelessness when the father is stateless, unknown, or otherwise unable to confer nationality. Statelessness_sentence_13

There have been recent changes in favor of gender neutrality in nationality laws, including reforms in Algeria, Morocco, and Senegal that may inform change elsewhere. Statelessness_sentence_14

For example, Algeria amended its nationality code in 2005 to grant Algerian nationality to children born in or outside Algeria to an Algerian mother or father. Statelessness_sentence_15

Moreover, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women prohibits sex-based discrimination in the conferral of nationality. Statelessness_sentence_16

An important measure to prevent statelessness at birth bestows nationality to children born in a territory who would otherwise be stateless. Statelessness_sentence_17

This norm is stipulated in the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness; appears in several regional human rights treaties, including the American Convention on Human Rights, the European Convention on Nationality, and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; and is implicit in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Statelessness_sentence_18

Discrimination Statelessness_section_3

In most large-scale statelessness situations, statelessness is a result of discrimination. Statelessness_sentence_19

Many states define their body of citizens based on ethnicity, leading to the exclusion of large groups. Statelessness_sentence_20

This violates international laws against discrimination. Statelessness_sentence_21

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination stated on 1 October 2014 that the "deprivation of citizenship on the basis of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin is a breach of States’ obligations to ensure non-discriminatory enjoyment of the right to nationality". Statelessness_sentence_22

State succession Statelessness_section_4

In some cases, statelessness is a consequence of state succession. Statelessness_sentence_23

Some people become stateless when their state of nationality ceases to exist, or when the territory on which they live comes under the control of another state. Statelessness_sentence_24

This was the case when the Soviet Union disintegrated, and also in the cases of Yugoslavia and Ethiopia. Statelessness_sentence_25

Administrative obstacles Statelessness_section_5

People may also become stateless as a result of administrative and practical problems, especially when they are from a group whose nationality is questioned. Statelessness_sentence_26

Individuals might be entitled to citizenship but unable to undertake the necessary procedural steps. Statelessness_sentence_27

They may be required to pay excessive fees for documentation proving nationality, to provide documentation that is not available to them, or to meet unrealistic deadlines; or they may face geographic or literacy barriers. Statelessness_sentence_28

In disruptive conflict or post-conflict situations, many people find that difficulties in completing simple administrative procedures are exacerbated. Statelessness_sentence_29

Such obstacles may affect the ability of individuals to complete procedures such as birth registration, fundamental to the prevention of statelessness in children. Statelessness_sentence_30

Whilst birth registration alone does not confer citizenship on a child, the documentation of place of birth and parentage is instrumental in proving the link between an individual and a state for the acquisition of nationality. Statelessness_sentence_31

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimated in 2013 that 230 million children under the age of 5 have not been registered. Statelessness_sentence_32

Not holding proof of nationality—being "undocumented"—is not the same as being stateless, but the lack of identity documents such as a birth certificate can lead to statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_33

Many millions of people live their entire lives without documents, without their nationality ever being questioned. Statelessness_sentence_34

Two factors are of particular importance: Statelessness_sentence_35


  • whether the nationality in question was acquired automatically or through some form of registrationStatelessness_item_1_2
  • whether the person has ever been denied documents on the basis that he or she is not a national.Statelessness_item_1_3

If nationality is acquired automatically, the person is a national regardless of documentation status (although in practice, the person may face problems accessing certain rights and services because he or she is undocumented, not because he or she is stateless). Statelessness_sentence_36

If registration is required, then the person is not a national until that process has been completed. Statelessness_sentence_37

As a practical matter, the longer a person is undocumented, the greater the likelihood that he or she will end up in a situation where no state recognizes him or her as a national. Statelessness_sentence_38

Renunciation Statelessness_section_6

In rare cases, individuals may become stateless upon renouncing their citizenship (e.g., "world citizen" Garry Davis and, from 1896 to 1901, Albert Einstein, who, in January 1896, at the age of 16, was released from his Württemberg citizenship after, with his father's help, filing a petition to that effect; in February 1901 his application for Swiss citizenship was accepted). Statelessness_sentence_39

People who subscribe to Voluntaryist, Agorist, or some other philosophical, political, or religious beliefs may desire or seek statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_40

Many states do not allow citizens to renounce their nationality unless they acquire another. Statelessness_sentence_41

However, consular officials are unlikely to be familiar with the citizenship laws of all countries, so there may still be situations where renunciation leads to effective statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_42

Non-state territories Statelessness_section_7

Only states can have nationals, and people of non-state territories may be stateless. Statelessness_sentence_43

This includes for instance residents of occupied territories where statehood never emerged in the first place, has ceased to exist and/or is largely unrecognized. Statelessness_sentence_44

Examples include the Palestinian territories, Western Sahara and Northern Cyprus (depending on the interpretation of what constitutes statehood and sovereignty). Statelessness_sentence_45

People who are recognized to be citizens by the government of an unrecognized country may not consider themselves stateless, but nevertheless may be widely regarded as such especially if other countries refuse to honor passports issued by an unrecognized state. Statelessness_sentence_46

While statelessness in some form has existed continuously throughout human history, the international community has only been concerned with its eradication since the middle of the 20th century. Statelessness_sentence_47

In 1954, the United Nations adopted the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, which provides a framework for the protection of stateless people. Statelessness_sentence_48

Seven years later, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_49

In addition, a range of regional and international human rights treaties guarantee a right to nationality, with special protections for certain groups, including stateless persons. Statelessness_sentence_50

States bound by the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child are obligated to ensure that every child acquires a nationality. Statelessness_sentence_51

The convention requires states to implement this provision in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless, and in a manner that is in the best interests of the child. Statelessness_sentence_52

The status of a person who might be stateless ultimately depends on the viewpoint of the state with respect to the individual or a group of people. Statelessness_sentence_53

In some cases, the state makes its view clear and explicit; in others, its viewpoint is harder to discern. Statelessness_sentence_54

In those cases, one may need to rely on prima facie evidence of the view of the state, which in turn may give rise to a presumption of statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_55

History Statelessness_section_8

In antiquity Statelessness_section_9

In a historical sense, statelessness could reasonably be considered to the default human condition that existed universally from the evolution of human species to the emergence of the first human civilizations. Statelessness_sentence_56

Historically in every inhabited region on Earth, prior the emergence of states as polities humans organized into tribal groups. Statelessness_sentence_57

In the absence of written laws, people living in tribal settings were typically expected to adhere to tribal customs and owed allegiance to their tribe and/or tribal leaders. Statelessness_sentence_58

As states began to form, a distinction developed between those who had some form of legal attachment to a more complex polity recognized to be a state in contrast to those who did not. Statelessness_sentence_59

The latter, often living in tribes and in regions not yet organized into and/or conquered by more powerful states, would widely be considered to be stateless in a modern sense. Statelessness_sentence_60

Historically, there is considerable correlation between those who would meet the modern definition of statelessness and those the contemporary ruling classes of the extant states would have deemed to be mere barbarians. Statelessness_sentence_61

However, civilizations of this period more often distinguished between a subject and a slave as opposed to between a citizen and a subject. Statelessness_sentence_62

In many monarchies, the concept of citizenship as something distinct from that of a subject did not exist - people under a monarch's rule who were considered subjects typically enjoyed more rights than a slave, and would presumably not have been considered "stateless" by the monarch. Statelessness_sentence_63

But even slaves in a monarchical state were often considered to have a legal status more desirable, at least from the perspective of the ruler, compared to those living outside the frontiers in tribal settings who were typically regarded as barbarians. Statelessness_sentence_64

Depending on the circumstances, a monarch seeking to conquer a frontier region would seek to either subjugate or enslave the inhabitants, but either would impart on the conquered population a change from stateless barbarian to some form of legal status in which allegiance and/or obedience to the ruler could be expected. Statelessness_sentence_65

With the emergence of the concept of citizenship in the Greco-Roman world, the status of slaves and inhabitants of conquered territories during Classical antiquity became in some ways analogous to contemporary statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_66

In antiquity, such "statelessness" affected captive and subject populations denied full citizenship, including those enslaved (e.g., conquered populations excluded from Roman citizenship, such as the Gauls immediately following the Gallic Wars, or the Israelites under Babylonian captivity). Statelessness_sentence_67

However, there was a major difference between captive and subject populations in contrast to those living outside the boundaries of cohesive states - while both could be considered stateless, the latter typically only needed to adhere to local tribal customs whereas the former were not only expected to obey the laws of the state they were living in, but were often subjected to laws not imposed on and punishments not inflicted on full citizens. Statelessness_sentence_68

Among the more widely-known examples of this was the Romans' frequent use of crucifixion to punish Roman subjects, considered to be a highly degrading form of capital punishment that could not legally be inflicted on Roman citizens. Statelessness_sentence_69

Before World War II Statelessness_section_10

Some characteristics of statelessness could be observed among apostates and slaves in Islamic society (the former shunned for rejecting their religious birth identity, the latter having been separated from that identity and subsumed into an underclass). Statelessness_sentence_70

Statelessness also used to characterize the Romani people, whose traditional nomadic lifestyles meant that they traveled across lands claimed by others. Statelessness_sentence_71

The Nansen International Office for Refugees was an international organization of the League of Nations in charge of refugees from 1930 to 1939. Statelessness_sentence_72

It received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1938. Statelessness_sentence_73

Nansen passports, designed in 1922 by founder Fridtjof Nansen, were internationally recognized identity cards issued to stateless refugees. Statelessness_sentence_74

In 1942, they were honored by governments in 52 countries. Statelessness_sentence_75

Many Jews became stateless before and during the Holocaust, because the Nuremberg laws of 1935 stripped them of their German citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_76

After World War II Statelessness_section_11

The United Nations (UN) was set up in 1945, immediately after the end of World War II. Statelessness_sentence_77

From its inception, the UN had to deal with the mass atrocities of the war, including the huge refugee populations across Europe. Statelessness_sentence_78

To address the nationality and legal status of these refugees, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) requested that the UN Secretary-General carry out a study of statelessness in 1948. Statelessness_sentence_79

In 1948, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted. Statelessness_sentence_80

It provided both a right to asylum (Article 14) and a right to nationality (Article 15). Statelessness_sentence_81

The declaration also expressly prohibited arbitrary deprivation of nationality, which had affected many of the wartime refugees. Statelessness_sentence_82

In 1949, the International Law Commission put "Nationality, including statelessness", on its list of topics of international law provisionally selected for codification. Statelessness_sentence_83

In 1950, at the behest of ECOSOC, that item was given priority, and ECOSOC appointed an ad hoc Committee on Refugees and Stateless People to draft a convention. Statelessness_sentence_84

A treaty on refugees was prepared with a draft protocol addressing the status of stateless persons. Statelessness_sentence_85

The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees was adopted on 28 July 1951. Statelessness_sentence_86

As of January 2005, it had attracted the signatures of 145 state parties. Statelessness_sentence_87

Since the International Refugee Organization—the predecessor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)—was in the process of being dissolved, the convention was adopted without the protocol addressing statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_88

The International Law Commission, at its fifth session in 1953, produced both a Draft Convention on the Elimination of Future Statelessness and a Draft Convention on the Reduction of Future Statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_89

ECOSOC approved both drafts. Statelessness_sentence_90

In 1954, the UN adopted the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. Statelessness_sentence_91

This convention provided a definition of a stateless person (which has since become part of customary international law, according to the International Law Commission) and set out a number of rights that stateless persons should enjoy. Statelessness_sentence_92

The convention thus became the basis for an international protection regime for stateless persons. Statelessness_sentence_93

However, in order to ensure that the rights enumerated in the convention are protected, states need to be able to identify stateless individuals. Statelessness_sentence_94

Seven years later, in 1961—only one year after the 1954 convention entered into force—the UN adopted the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_95

In 2014, following a series of expert meetings, UNHCR issued a Handbook on Protection of Stateless Persons. Statelessness_sentence_96

Stateless refugees covered by the 1951 convention should be treated in accordance with international refugee laws. Statelessness_sentence_97

As of 1 September 2015, 86 states were party to the 1954 convention, up from 65 when UNHCR launched its conventions campaign in 2011. Statelessness_sentence_98

Statelessness since 1961 Statelessness_section_12

On 13 December 1975, the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness entered into force. Statelessness_sentence_99

It provides a number of standards regarding acquisition and loss of nationality, including automatic loss, renunciation, and deprivation of nationality. Statelessness_sentence_100

In 1974, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) requested that UNHCR undertake the functions established by the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_101

While the convention had only 37 state parties on 1 January 2011, 33 states pledged to accede to it at a ministerial event organized by UNHCR in December 2011. Statelessness_sentence_102

As of 1 September 2015, the number of state parties had increased to 64. Statelessness_sentence_103

Starting in 1994, the UNHCR Executive Committee (ExCom) and the UNGA asked UNHCR to broaden its activities concerning statelessness to include all states. Statelessness_sentence_104

In 1996, UNHCR was asked by the UNGA to actively promote accessions to the 1954 and 1961 conventions, as well as to provide interested states with technical and advisory services pertaining to the preparation and implementation of nationality legislation. Statelessness_sentence_105

An internal evaluation released in 2001 suggested that UNHCR had done little to exercise its mandate on statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_106

Only two individuals were tasked with overseeing work in that area at UNHCR headquarters, though some field officers had been trained to address the issue. Statelessness_sentence_107

The evaluation also noted that there was no dedicated budget line. Statelessness_sentence_108

Concerned organisations such as the Open Society Justice Initiative and Refugees International have called for UNHCR to dedicate more human and financial resources to statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_109

In 2006, a statelessness unit (now a statelessness section) was established in Geneva, and staffing has increased both in headquarters and in the field. Statelessness_sentence_110

As part of an overhaul of UNHCR's budget structure in 2010, the budget dedicated to statelessness increased from approximately US$12 million in 2009 to $69.5 million in 2015. Statelessness_sentence_111

In addition to regular staff in regional and country offices, UNHCR has regional statelessness officers in Dakar, Senegal, for West Africa; Nairobi, Kenya, for the Horn of Africa; Pretoria, South Africa, for Southern Africa; San José, Costa Rica, for the Americas; Bangkok, Thailand, for Asia and the Pacific; Almaty, Kazakhstan, for Central Asia; Brussels, Belgium, for Europe; and Amman, Jordan, for the Middle East and North Africa. Statelessness_sentence_112

In 2004, ExCom instructed UNHCR to pay particular attention to situations of protracted statelessness and to explore, in cooperation with states, measures that would ameliorate and end these situations. Statelessness_sentence_113

In 2006, it provided UNHCR with more specific guidance on how to implement its mandate. Statelessness_sentence_114

The Conclusion on Identification, Prevention and Reduction of Statelessness and Protection of Stateless Persons requires UNHCR to work with governments, other UN agencies, and civil society to address statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_115

UNHCR's activities are currently categorized as identification, prevention, reduction, and protection. Statelessness_sentence_116

UNHCR has achieved some success with campaigns to prevent and reduce statelessness among peoples in the Crimean peninsula (Armenians, Crimean Tatars, Germans, and Greeks) who were deported en masse at the close of World War II. Statelessness_sentence_117

Another success has been the naturalization of Tajik refugees in Kyrgyzstan, as well as campaigns that have enabled 300,000 Tamils to acquire Sri Lankan citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_118

UNHCR also helped the Czech Republic reduce the large number of stateless persons created when it separated from Slovakia. Statelessness_sentence_119

At the beginning of 2006, the UNHCR reported that it had records of 2.4 million stateless persons, and estimated that there were 11 million worldwide. Statelessness_sentence_120

By the end of 2014, UNHCR had identified close to 3.5 million stateless persons in 77 countries and estimated the total number worldwide to be more than 10 million. Statelessness_sentence_121

UNHCR does not report refugee populations in its statelessness statistics in order to avoid double counting, which would affect the total number of "persons of concern". Statelessness_sentence_122

Stateless refugees are counted as refugees, not as stateless. Statelessness_sentence_123

For the same reason, Palestinian refugees under the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) are not reported in the UNHCR statelessness table. Statelessness_sentence_124

Instead, they are referred to elsewhere in UNHCR's statistical reporting. Statelessness_sentence_125

While the two UN conventions on statelessness constitute the primary international framework for the protection of stateless persons and the reduction of statelessness, there are also regional instruments of great importance. Statelessness_sentence_126

The 1997 European Convention on Nationality, for example, has contributed to protecting the rights of stateless persons and provides standards for reducing statelessness in the Council of Europe region. Statelessness_sentence_127

That document emphasizes the need of every person to have a nationality, and seeks to clarify the rights and responsibilities of states in ensuring individual access to a nationality. Statelessness_sentence_128

Today, some of the largest populations of stateless persons are found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, India, Kenya, Latvia, Estonia, Malaysia, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nepal, Brunei, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Algeria and Thailand. Statelessness_sentence_129

Notable cases Statelessness_section_13

Airports Statelessness_section_14

Some stateless people have received widespread public attention in airports due to their status as ports of entry. Statelessness_sentence_130

One famous case is that of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who lived in Charles de Gaulle Airport in France for approximately 18 years after he was denied entry to the country. Statelessness_sentence_131

He appears to have no nationality, as his Iranian citizenship was taken away from him. Statelessness_sentence_132

He has a British parent, but he still does not have British citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_133

The 1994 French film Tombés du ciel and the 2004 American film The Terminal are fictional stories inspired by his experiences. Statelessness_sentence_134

During change of citizenship Statelessness_section_15

Countries that restrict multiple nationality often require immigrants who apply for naturalisation to obtain official documentation from their countries of origin proving that they are no longer citizens. Statelessness_sentence_135

In others, including Taiwan, the documentation must be provided prior to the granting of citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_136

During the period between the renunciation/cancellation of the prior citizenship and the granting of the new citizenship by naturalization, the applicant may be officially stateless. Statelessness_sentence_137

(In two cases in Taiwan, Pakistani immigrants applied for naturalization and renounced their Pakistani citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_138

In the interim, the decisions to permit their naturalization as citizens of Taiwan were reversed, leaving them stateless.) Statelessness_sentence_139

Australia Statelessness_section_16

As of 30 April 2017 Australia had 37 stateless people in onshore detention, who had been detained for an average of 2 years and 106 days and the longest was 3 years and 250 days. Statelessness_sentence_140

The number of stateless people in offshore detention is unknown. Statelessness_sentence_141

There were a further 57 stateless people living in the community after being approved for a residence determination. Statelessness_sentence_142

In Australia statelessness is not itself a ground for grant of a visa and the person must instead rely upon other grounds, such as being a refugee. Statelessness_sentence_143

Notable cases include: Statelessness_sentence_144


  • Ahmed Al-Kateb, a Palestinian man born in Kuwait who was denied a visa on arrival in Australia in 2000 and did not meet the requirements of a refugee. Al-Kateb wished to return to Kuwait or Gaza, however Kuwait would not accept him (as he was not a Kuwait citizen or resident) and there was no state of Palestine at that time. To return him to Gaza required the approval of Israel. The High Court of Australia held in Al-Kateb v Godwin that his detention was lawful, even though it would continue indefinitely. Al-Kateb and eight other stateless people were granted bridging visas in 2005 and, while this meant they were released from detention, they were unable to work, study or obtain various government benefits. Al-Kateb was granted a permanent visa in October 2007.Statelessness_item_2_4


  • 'Baby Ferouz' was born in November 2013 to Rohingya Muslim parents who had fled from Myanmar, which did not recognise them as citizens. His parents and siblings were being held at the Nauru Detention Centre, however the family was flown to Brisbane due to complications in pregnancy, with the result that baby Ferouz was born in Australia. From 1986, Australia has not automatically granted citizenship to people born in Australia, despite the provision in the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness requiring nationality to be given to children born in a territory who would otherwise be stateless. As baby Ferouz was deemed to be an unauthorised maritime arrival, he could not be given a protection visa. In December 2014 he and his family were given a temporary protection visa which allowed them to be released from immigration detention.Statelessness_item_3_5


  • Said Imasi is believed to be from Western Sahara and had been granted a protection visa in Norway in 2004. In January 2010 he had a one-way ticket to New Zealand and was traveling on a friend's passport and was detained on a stop-over in Melbourne. His application for a refugee visa was refused because he did not have a "well-founded fear of persecution" in Norway. Because he has no visa to be in Australia and there is no country to which he can be returned, Imasi has been in immigration detention since January 2010 and since October 2015 has been held at the Christmas Island Detention Centre.Statelessness_item_4_6

Brazil Statelessness_section_17

Brazil is among the few countries in the world to have in its Law the recognition of a Stateless person in order to provide documents to this person as an official citizen of the country. Statelessness_sentence_145

Maha and Souad Mamo, who have lived in Brazil for four years as refugees, were the first stateless persons recognized by the Brazilian State after the creation of the new Migration Law (Law No. Statelessness_sentence_146

13,445), which came into force in 2017. Statelessness_sentence_147

The Migration Law provides protective measures for stateless persons, facilitating the guarantees of social inclusion and simplified naturalization for citizens without a homeland. Statelessness_sentence_148

The legislation follows international conventions of respect for stateless persons and seeks to reduce the number of people in this situation, giving the right to request nationality. Statelessness_sentence_149

While usually in countries having similar laws is offered to the stateless person the access to basic rights such as education and health, in their documents they are still recognized as stateless with a residence permit, Brazil with its law, offers the naturalization, which means that these persons can be, by all effects, Brazilians. Statelessness_sentence_150

If the stateless persons do not want to apply for immediate naturalization, they will have granted at least definitive residency in the country. Statelessness_sentence_151

Brunei Statelessness_section_18

There are a large number of stateless permanent residents in Brunei. Statelessness_sentence_152

Most of these residents have lived on Bruneian soil for generations, but Bruneian nationality is governed by the policy of jus sanguinis; the right to hold it comes from blood ties. Statelessness_sentence_153

The government of Brunei has made obtaining citizenship possible, albeit difficult, for stateless people who have inhabited Brunei for many generations. Statelessness_sentence_154

Requirements include rigorous tests in Malay culture, customs, and language. Statelessness_sentence_155

Stateless permanent residents of Brunei are given an International Certificate of Identity, which allows them to travel overseas. Statelessness_sentence_156

The majority of Brunei's Chinese and Indians are permanent residents. Statelessness_sentence_157

Holders of International Certificates of Identity can enter Germany and Hungary visa-free for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. Statelessness_sentence_158

In the case of Germany, in theory, in order for an individual to benefit from the visa exemption, the ICI must be issued under the terms of the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, and it must contain an authorization to return to Brunei with a sufficiently long period of validity. Statelessness_sentence_159

Brunei is a signatory to the 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which states that "the child shall be entitled from his birth to a name and a nationality", but it does not currently follow the guidelines of the convention. Statelessness_sentence_160

The Sultan of Brunei has announced changes that may expedite the process by which stateless persons with permanent residence status sit for citizenship exams. Statelessness_sentence_161

Canada Statelessness_section_19

An amendment to the Canadian Citizenship Act (S.C. 2008, c. 14, previously Bill C-37) came into effect on 17 April 2009 and changed the rules for the acquisition of foreign-born Canadian citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_162

Individuals born outside Canada can now become Canadian citizens by descent only if at least one of their parents was either a native-born citizen or a naturalised citizen of Canada. Statelessness_sentence_163

The new law limits citizenship by descent to one generation born outside Canada. Statelessness_sentence_164

All individuals born within one generation of the native-born or naturalised citizen parent are automatically recognised as Canadian citizens, but second-generation descendants born abroad are no longer citizens of Canada at birth, and such individuals might be stateless if they have no claim to any other citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_165

Since the passage of Bill C-37, this situation has already occurred at least twice: Statelessness_sentence_166


  • Rachel Chandler was born in China, to a Libyan-born father who is a Canadian citizen through the provision in the above paragraph and a mother who is a Chinese citizen. Because of the nationality laws of Canada and China, she was not eligible for citizenship in either country and was apparently born stateless. However, because Chandler's paternal grandfather was born in Ireland, she was entitled to Irish citizenship and now holds an Irish passport.Statelessness_item_5_7
  • Chloé Goldring was born in Belgium, to a Canadian father born in Bermuda and an Algerian mother. She was not eligible for automatic citizenship in Algeria, Belgium, or Canada, and was thus born stateless. Goldring is now a Canadian citizen.Statelessness_item_5_8

Under Bill C-37, the term "native-born" is construed strictly: children born outside of Canada to Canadian government employees working abroad, including diplomats and Canadian Forces personnel, are considered foreign-born. Statelessness_sentence_167

The bill was intended to resolve the status of so-called "Lost Canadians"—people who considered themselves Canadians, with undeniable connections to the country, but who had either lost or never been granted citizenship because of the vagaries of the country's previous nationality law. Statelessness_sentence_168

Dominican Republic Statelessness_section_20

There are an estimated 800,000 Haitians in the Dominican Republic. Statelessness_sentence_169

For much of its history, the Dominican Republic had a jus soli policy, meaning that all children born in the country, even to undocumented parents, were automatically given citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_170

This is a policy practiced by most countries in the Western Hemisphere. Statelessness_sentence_171

But in June 2013, the Dominican high court amended existing legislation to exclude from jus soli citizenship children born "in transit", such as the children of foreign diplomats and "those on their way to another country". Statelessness_sentence_172

Since 2013, the law has been expanded to address the children of non-citizens, such as Haitian migrants who immigrated after 1929. Statelessness_sentence_173

Since the passing of the amendment, nearly 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent have been stripped of their Dominican citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_174

Without birth certificates, identification, or nationality, they are stateless and living illegally in the Dominican Republic. Statelessness_sentence_175

As of July 2015, according to the International Organization for Migration, about 1,133 individuals had voluntarily or involuntarily relocated to Haiti. Statelessness_sentence_176

By law, many are eligible to apply for naturalised citizenship in either Haiti or the Dominican Republic, but financial, bureaucratic, and discriminatory obstacles have prevented many from doing so. Statelessness_sentence_177

Estonia and Latvia Statelessness_section_21

See also: Non-citizens (Latvia) Statelessness_sentence_178

Estonia and Latvia, two neighboring European countries, were Russian Empire territories, separated upon independence in 1918, re-merged under Soviet Occupation from 1940 until German occupation in 1941 and then again under renewed Soviet Occupation after 1944. Statelessness_sentence_179

When their independence was restored in 1991, citizenship was automatically restored to individuals who had been Latvian citizens prior to 18 June 1940 or Estonian citizens prior to 16 June 1940, and their descendants. Statelessness_sentence_180

Citizens of the Soviet Union, who had moved to Estonia or Latvia while they were part of the Soviet Union did not receive citizenship automatically in 1991, and neither did their descendants. Statelessness_sentence_181

They had to apply for naturalisation as immigrants, a process that included a knowledge test and a language test in Estonian or Latvian. Statelessness_sentence_182

Children born after Latvia re-established independence (21 August 1991), to parents who are both non-citizens, are also entitled to citizenship at the request of at least one of the parents. Statelessness_sentence_183

These criteria mainly excluded ethnic Russians. Statelessness_sentence_184

Most were unable to pass the language test required. Statelessness_sentence_185

Russia has a visa waiver for stateless persons living in Estonia and Latvia, while Estonian and Latvian citizens need to obtain a visa to enter Russia. Statelessness_sentence_186

These stateless persons can also travel freely within the Schengen area, but they are not permitted to work within the European Union. Statelessness_sentence_187

As of 2013, more than 267,000 of residents of Latvia, and 91,000 of residents of Estonia, were stateless. Statelessness_sentence_188

Greece Statelessness_section_22

Article 19 of the Greek Citizenship Code (Law 3370 of 1955) stated: "A person of non-Greek ethnic origin leaving Greece without the intention of returning may be declared as having lost Greek citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_189

This also applies to a person of non-Greek ethnic origin born and domiciled abroad. Statelessness_sentence_190

Minor children living abroad may be declared as having lost Greek citizenship if both their parents, or the surviving parent, have lost it as well." Statelessness_sentence_191

(The Minister of the Interior decides such cases, with the concurring opinion of the Citizenship Council. Statelessness_sentence_192

). Statelessness_sentence_193

Article 19 was abolished in 1998, but no provision was established for restoring citizenship to people who had lost it. Statelessness_sentence_194

Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos stated that, since the article's introduction in 1955, 60,000 Greeks had lost their citizenship because of it, many of these people moved and adopted the nationality of another country. Statelessness_sentence_195

However, an estimated 300–1,000 people remain stateless in Greece (primarily minorities in Thrace, some of whom never settled abroad) and other former Greek citizens are stateless outside the country (an estimated 1,400 in Turkey and an unknown number elsewhere). Statelessness_sentence_196

Stateless individuals in Greece have had difficulty receiving social services like health care and education. Statelessness_sentence_197

Until December 1997, they were denied the protection of the 1954 U.N. Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, which Greece ratified in 1975. Statelessness_sentence_198

Then, as a result of pressure from nongovernmental organizations and minority deputies, around 100 ethnic Turks made stateless under Article 19 received identity documents from Greek authorities in accordance with the 1954 U.N. Convention. Statelessness_sentence_199

In August 1998, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos stated that within a year, most or all stateless persons living in Greece would be offered Greek citizenship; this promise was repeated in subsequent months by Alternate and Deputy Foreign Ministers George Papandreou and Giannos Kranidiotis. Statelessness_sentence_200

However, the government took no steps to carry out this promise. Statelessness_sentence_201

From the mid-1950s until 1998, the Greek government used Article 19 to discriminate not only against the Turkish ethnic minority in Western Thrace, but also against emigrants to Turkey itself. Statelessness_sentence_202

The dispute over Cyprus between Greece and Turkey further exacerbated the problem, and tens of thousands of Greek citizens lost their nationality arbitrarily, sometimes while they were simply visiting Turkey on holiday. Statelessness_sentence_203

The law was repealed in 1998, but not retroactively (i.e., those who had been affected did not have their citizenship automatically restored). Statelessness_sentence_204

Human rights groups and the United Nations have since helped many to regain their citizenship, but not without long struggles. Statelessness_sentence_205

Many stateless residents of Greece have had their nationality restored, but others have been waiting for decades, unable to re-enter the country of their birth and sometimes separated from their families in Greece. Statelessness_sentence_206

Hong Kong Statelessness_section_23

South Asia Statelessness_section_24

As of 2012, India and Pakistan were each holding several hundred prisoners from the other for violations like trespass or visa overstay, often with accusations of espionage. Statelessness_sentence_207

Some of these prisoners have been denied citizenship in both countries, leaving them stateless. Statelessness_sentence_208

In Pakistani law, if one leaves the country for more than seven years without any registration from a Pakistani embassy or foreign mission of any country, they lose Pakistani citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_209

In 2012, the BBC reported on the case of Muhammad Idrees, who lived in Pakistan and had been held under Indian police control for approximately 13 years for overstaying his 15-day visa by 2–3 days after seeing his ill parents in 1999. Statelessness_sentence_210

He spent much of those 13 years in prison waiting for a hearing, sometimes homeless or living with volunteer families. Statelessness_sentence_211

Both states denied him citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_212

The BBC linked these problems to the political atmosphere caused by the Kashmir conflict. Statelessness_sentence_213

The Indian People's Union for Civil Liberties told the BBC it had worked on hundreds of cases with similar features. Statelessness_sentence_214

It called Idrees' case a "violation of all human rights, national and international laws", adding, "Everybody has a right to a nation." Statelessness_sentence_215

The Indian Human Rights Law Network blamed "officials in the home department" and slow courts, and called the case a "miscarriage of justice, a shocking case". Statelessness_sentence_216

In Bangladesh, there are about 300,000-500,000 Bihari people (also known as Stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh) who were rendered stateless when Bangladesh seceded from Pakistan in 1971. Statelessness_sentence_217

Bangladesh refused to consider them her citizens because of their support for Pakistan in the Bangladesh Liberation War while Pakistan insisted that since Bangladesh was successor state of East Pakistan, she had a responsibility to absorb the Bihari people into her nation as West Pakistan had done with refugees flooding from the war, including Bengali people. Statelessness_sentence_218

As a result, the Bihari people became stateless. Statelessness_sentence_219

There are over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees in Nepal, who have neither Bhutanese nor Nepalese citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_220

Indonesia Statelessness_section_25

In February 2020, the Indonesia government stated that any Indonesian national who ever joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had automatically lost their Indonesian citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_221

Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko stated that the ISIL sympathizers "are stateless". Statelessness_sentence_222

Article 23 of Indonesian nationality law states that Indonesian nationals can lose their citizenship after, among other things, "joining a foreign military or taking an oath of allegiance to another country". Statelessness_sentence_223

Japan Statelessness_section_26

When Japan lost control over Korea in 1945, those Koreans who remained in Japan received Chōsen-seki, a designation of nationality that did not actually grant them citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_224

Roughly half of these people later received South Korean citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_225

The other half were affiliated with North Korea, which is unrecognized by Japan, and they are legally stateless. Statelessness_sentence_226

Practically speaking, they mostly hold North Korean citizenship (albeit meaningless in Japan, their country of residence) and may repatriate there, and under Japanese law, they are treated as foreign nationals and given the full privileges entitled to that class. Statelessness_sentence_227

In 2010, Chōsen-seki holders were banned from South Korea. Statelessness_sentence_228

UNHCR published a study on statelessness in Japan in 2010. Statelessness_sentence_229

Syria Statelessness_section_27

By 2011, it was estimated that there were close to 300,000 stateless Kurds in Syria. Statelessness_sentence_230

While the government's implementation of the 2011 Decree did result in reducing the number of stateless persons, a significant part of Syria's remaining statelessness problem has now been ‘exported’ to new geographic and legal contexts with the displacement of affected persons out of the country. Statelessness_sentence_231

Kuwait Statelessness_section_28

See also: Demographics of Kuwait Statelessness_sentence_232

Stateless persons in Kuwait are descendants of Arab nomads who have settled in Kuwait during the 1960s but were denied the right to citizenship for different reasons. Statelessness_sentence_233

The number of stateless Kuwaitis, who are locally known as Bedoons -the Arabic for "without", ranges between 120,000 and 200,000. Statelessness_sentence_234

The first Bedoon demonstrations for nationality rights took place on February 18, 2011. Statelessness_sentence_235

That year, Kuwaiti courts ruled that Bedoon could be issued birth, marriage and death certificates. Statelessness_sentence_236

Before those rulings, Bedoons were impeded in education and employment by the lack of such documentation. Statelessness_sentence_237

The Kuwaiti government has given some stateless people conditional rights and has worked to improve their overall standard of living. Statelessness_sentence_238

The government has incorporated into Kuwaiti society those who can provide documentation verifying that their male descendants resided in Kuwait prior to 1967. Statelessness_sentence_239

Many families cannot provide such documents because they were never issued by the government. Statelessness_sentence_240

Thus, only a minority of stateless people in Kuwait have access to this status. Statelessness_sentence_241

Stateless people in Kuwait are divided into five groups: Statelessness_sentence_242


  • Those who have not registered or cannot register, and therefore have no access to servicesStatelessness_item_6_9
  • Those with green cards, who are allowed access to some basic services, as long as their eligibility is maintained in their government security filesStatelessness_item_6_10
  • Holders of blue cards, who must re-register with the government every six monthsStatelessness_item_6_11
  • Holders of yellow cards, who must re-register every three monthsStatelessness_item_6_12
  • Holders of red cards, who can be deported at any time based on government conditions that are attached to the card.Statelessness_item_6_13

Conditional access for green card holders is provided only as long as the identification card belonging to the male head of household is current and has the green classification. Statelessness_sentence_243

It is common for cards not to be renewed. Statelessness_sentence_244

The International Coalition for the Rights of the Stateless announced that it would report the lack of renewals to the United Nations at the Periodic Review for Kuwait in 2015. Statelessness_sentence_245

Of the four color classifications, only the green card is linked to the provision of services such as: Statelessness_sentence_246


  • free medical treatmentStatelessness_item_7_14
  • Public funded charity educationStatelessness_item_7_15
  • birth, death, marriage and divorce certificatesStatelessness_item_7_16
  • inheritance and guardianship documentationStatelessness_item_7_17
  • driver's licenses (for which there are a number of hurdles)Statelessness_item_7_18
  • basic supermarket supplies (subsidies)Statelessness_item_7_19
  • care for those with special needs and disabilities (not including specialist treatment).Statelessness_item_7_20

According to media reports, Kuwait does not prioritize stateless people for citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_247

Rather, priority is given to citizens of other countries and foreign spouses of important Kuwaitis, as well as foreigners who have performed a service for Kuwait. Statelessness_sentence_248

There is no public information regarding the number of stateless people who are granted Kuwaiti citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_249

In 2013, BBC News reported that 4,000 "foreigners" would receive citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_250

(The number was higher than usual because in 2012, there was no such round of citizenship distribution.) Statelessness_sentence_251

But the government said that only a third of Bedoons were eligible for naturalisation, and that the rest had destroyed documents identifying them as citizens of other nations. Statelessness_sentence_252

Local news sources in Kuwait have cited parliamentarians in reporting that the government wants to deport Bedoons. Statelessness_sentence_253

Some humanitarian agencies have reported that posters advertising fraudulent passport services were placed in government offices, and that workers advised stateless people that they could not register at the office, but should take down the details on the poster. Statelessness_sentence_254

A Refugees International/Open Society Foundations report on 13 May 2011 stated, "After years of encouraging—sometimes coercing—Bidoon to sign affidavits to the effect that they were nationals of other countries, government officials became involved in an illicit trade of forged foreign passports." Statelessness_sentence_255

This strategy enabled hundreds, if not thousands, of stateless families to be removed from government records and designated "other nationals", allowing the government to deny any obligation to provide services and preventing those families from ever receiving citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_256

Kuwait also expelled some 400,000 Palestinians during the Iraq War. Statelessness_sentence_257

On 17 April 2014, a parliamentarian, Nabil al Fadhl, argued that stateless persons accused of security offences should be sent to camps in the desert. Statelessness_sentence_258

At least one author who provided information for the United Nations' Universal Periodic Review of Kuwait was blacklisted and accused of such security offences. Statelessness_sentence_259

Since then, parliamentarians who have spoken in opposition to the Kuwaiti government have been rendered stateless. Statelessness_sentence_260

Restrictions on employment and education mean that many stateless people are never employed. Statelessness_sentence_261

Some men who sell fruit in the street are made to pack up their things or risk arrest for security offences. Statelessness_sentence_262

The streets of the segregated communities of Taima and Sulabiya are deserted during the daytime because whole families are effectively confined to their homes. Statelessness_sentence_263

There are no statistics available on what portion of the stateless population has access to government-funded services. Statelessness_sentence_264

Nor is there up-to-date information on the numbers of registered and unregistered stateless people in Kuwait; only an approximate figure of "those eligible to receive citizenship"—i.e., people who were issued green cards in 2012—has been published. Statelessness_sentence_265

The number of registered stateless people has likely fallen because many identity cards have not been renewed, as reported to the United Nations' International Coalition for the Rights of the Stateless in advance of the 15th Periodic Review of Kuwait. Statelessness_sentence_266

Pakistan Statelessness_section_29

Inside Karachi city there is a stateless population of approximately one million Pakistani Bengalis, denied citizenship after the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Statelessness_sentence_267

There are some refugees who entered from Afghanistan many years ago. Statelessness_sentence_268

Qatar Statelessness_section_30

Most of Qatar's Bedoon are stateless tribesmen from the Ghufrani tribe. Statelessness_sentence_269

In 2005, Qatar stripped the citizenship of over 5,000 members of the tribe. Statelessness_sentence_270

After international outcry, it restored the citizenship of approximately 2,000. Statelessness_sentence_271

Today, there are between 1,200 and 1,500 Bedoon in Qatar. Statelessness_sentence_272

United Arab Emirates Statelessness_section_31

In the United Arab Emirates, some stateless people were granted citizenship after many years/decades. Statelessness_sentence_273

Children of a foreign parent were also granted citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_274

The UAE can also take away citizenship from people even if the individual will become stateless. Statelessness_sentence_275

The UAE has asked the Comoros Islands to take some of them. Statelessness_sentence_276

Stateless Palestinians Statelessness_section_32

See also: History of Palestinian nationality Statelessness_sentence_277

Abbas Shiblak estimates that over half of the Palestinian people in the world are stateless. Statelessness_sentence_278

Palestinians in Lebanon and those in Syria are constitutionally denied citizenship, and are thus stateless. Statelessness_sentence_279

After Israel annexed East Jerusalem following the Six-Day War in 1967, Palestinians living there received, along with Israeli permanent residency status, the right to apply for citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_280

Shortly after the offer was made, it was rejected by Arab leaders. Statelessness_sentence_281

Almost all Jerusalem Palestinians have shied away from citizenship for ideological reasons. Statelessness_sentence_282

Between 1967 and 2007, only 12,000 of the 250,000 Palestinians living in Jerusalem applied for Israeli citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_283

Since 2007, more have applied, although the majority still reject it. Statelessness_sentence_284

Those who do not have Israeli citizenship are generally stateless. Statelessness_sentence_285

Many descendants of Palestinian refugees live permanently in countries of which they would be expected to be citizens, but they are not citizens because that country adheres to the policy of the Arab League in denying citizenship to Palestinians. Statelessness_sentence_286

Even though Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were issued Palestinian passports under the Oslo Accords and Palestinian legal statehood is somewhat widely acknowledged internationally as of 2018, some countries (such as the United States), recognize them as travel documents but do not recognize their citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_287

According to international law, only states can have nationals (meaning citizens), meaning that the remainder states who do not consider Palestine a state implement such policies and deem its holders as 'stateless'. Statelessness_sentence_288

Saudi Arabia Statelessness_section_33

Dissidents and other people can have their citizenship revoked. Statelessness_sentence_289

Osama bin Laden was asked to hand in his passport in the 1990s. Statelessness_sentence_290

Myanmar Statelessness_section_34

Main article: Rohingya people Statelessness_sentence_291

The Rohingya people are minority group in Myanmar (formerly Burma) whose status as citizens of that country, and whose human rights in general, have been severely curtailed by the Burmese government. Statelessness_sentence_292

Puerto Rico Statelessness_section_35

Main article: Juan Mari Brás Statelessness_sentence_293

In 1994, Juan Mari Brás, a Puerto Rican lawyer and political historian, renounced his American citizenship before a consular agent in the United States Embassy of Venezuela. Statelessness_sentence_294

In December 1995, his loss of nationality was confirmed by the US Department of State. Statelessness_sentence_295

That same month, he requested that the Puerto Rico State Department furnish him with proof of his Puerto Rican citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_296

The request involved more than just a bureaucratic formality; Mari Brás tested the self-determination of Puerto Rico by trying to become the first Puerto Rican citizen who was not also an American citizen. Statelessness_sentence_297

Mari Brás claimed that as a Puerto Rican national born and raised in Puerto Rico, he was clearly a Puerto Rican citizen and therefore had every right to continue to reside, work, and, most importantly, vote in Puerto Rico. Statelessness_sentence_298

The State Department responded promptly, claiming that Puerto Rican citizenship did not exist independent of American citizenship, and in 1998, the department rescinded its recognition of his renunciation of citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_299

The official response to Mari Brás stated that Puerto Rican citizenship existed only as an equivalent to residency. Statelessness_sentence_300

However, the Puerto Rico State Department issues certificates of citizenship to people born outside of Puerto Rico to a Puerto Rican parent, including some people who may have never resided in the territory. Statelessness_sentence_301

Turkey Statelessness_section_36

Main articles: 2016–17 purges in Turkey and Enes Kanter Statelessness_sentence_302

Following a failed coup in 2016, the Turkish government revoked about 50,000 passports. Statelessness_sentence_303

While most of the people whose passports were revoked were in Turkey at the time, one notable Turkish expatriate affected by this action was NBA player Enes Kanter. Statelessness_sentence_304

He is a vocal critic of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a public supporter of the Gülen movement, which the government blamed for the coup attempt. Statelessness_sentence_305

Kanter's passport was canceled while he was attempting to travel to the U.S., and he was briefly detained in Romania before being allowed to continue his travel. Statelessness_sentence_306

Turkey issued an arrest warrant against Kanter in May 2017, claiming that he was a member of "an armed terrorist organization." Statelessness_sentence_307

The government's action effectively rendered Kanter stateless, and he has since expressed a desire to seek U.S. citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_308

He currently holds a U.S. green card, which technically enables him to travel to and from Canada for games in Toronto. Statelessness_sentence_309

However, in the 2018–19 season, Kanter did not travel with his team to games in London or Toronto because Turkey had requested an Interpol red notice against him. Statelessness_sentence_310

Ukraine Statelessness_section_37

Main article: Mikheil Saakashvili Statelessness_sentence_311

After the completion of his term, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili moved to Ukraine where he was given citizenship and appointed Governor of Ukraine's Odessa Oblast. Statelessness_sentence_312

Due to Georgian restrictions on dual nationality, he was stripped of his Georgian citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_313

While visiting the U.S. in 2017, Saakashvili's Ukrainian citizenship was revoked by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, leaving Saakashvili stateless. Statelessness_sentence_314

After the election of Volodymyr Zelensky in 2019, Saakashvili's Ukrainian citizenship was restored. Statelessness_sentence_315

United Kingdom Statelessness_section_38

See also: British Nationality Law Statelessness_sentence_316

Different classes in British nationality law have led to situations in which people were considered British subjects but not nationals, or in which people held a British passport without right of abode in the United Kingdom. Statelessness_sentence_317

Examples include British protected persons, who are considered British nationals. Statelessness_sentence_318

British nationals (irrespective of the class of nationality) who reside abroad but are not entitled to protection by the British government are de facto stateless. Statelessness_sentence_319

Many situations that put people at risk of statelessness were resolved after 30 April 2003, when the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act of 2002 came into force. Statelessness_sentence_320

As a result of this act, the United Kingdom gave most people with residual British nationality but no other citizenship the right to register as full British citizens. Statelessness_sentence_321

However, there are still some people who have not been able or willing to register as citizens. Statelessness_sentence_322

Following the publication of a joint UNHCR-Asylum Aid report in 2011, the UK adopted a statelessness determination procedure in 2013. Statelessness_sentence_323

In January 2014, the Immigration Bill 2013–14 was introduced to extend the powers of the Home Secretary to deprive a naturalised British citizen of their citizenship, even if that renders the individual stateless, if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the deprivation of citizenship is conducive to the public good because the person "has conducted him or herself in a manner which is seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the UK." Statelessness_sentence_324

A naturalised British citizen is someone who was not born a British citizen but has become one through the legal process of naturalisation, by which someone with no automatic claim to British citizenship can obtain the same rights and privileges as someone who was born a British citizen. Statelessness_sentence_325

The bill was initially blocked by the House of Lords in April 2014. Statelessness_sentence_326

However, the Lords reconsidered their decision in May 2014, and the bill returned to the House of Commons before being set into UK law. Statelessness_sentence_327

United States Statelessness_section_39

The United States, which is not a signatory to the 1954 Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons or the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, is one of a small number of countries that allow their citizens to renounce their citizenship even if they do not hold any other. Statelessness_sentence_328

The Foreign Affairs Manual instructs State Department employees to make it clear to Americans who will become stateless after renunciation that they may face extreme difficulties (including deportation back to the United States) following their renunciation, but to afford such persons their right to give up citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_329

Former Americans who have voluntarily made themselves stateless include Garry Davis in the beginning years of the United Nations, Thomas Jolley during the Vietnam War, Joel Slater as a political protest in 1987 while believing that he would obtain Australian citizenship, and Mike Gogulski as a political protest in 2008 without attempting to take any other citizenship. Statelessness_sentence_330

The UNHCR published a report on statelessness in the United States in 2012 in which it recommended the establishment of a determination procedure that incorporates a definition of statelessness in accordance with international law to ensure that stateless persons are permitted to reside in the United States. Statelessness_sentence_331

The Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution granted citizenship to African American slaves. Statelessness_sentence_332

The Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Wong Kim Ark clarified that people born to aliens on US soil were entitled to citizenship under the Fourteenth Amendment. Statelessness_sentence_333

However, it excluded Native Americans by defining a citizen as any person born in the US, but only if "subject to the jurisdiction thereof"; this latter clause excluded anyone who was born in tribal nations within the United States, as the Supreme Court ruled in Elk v. Wilkins that they are "quasi-foreign nations who deal with Congress using treaties". Statelessness_sentence_334

The Indian Citizenship Act addressed the issue by granting citizenship to America's indigenous peoples. Statelessness_sentence_335

Organizations Statelessness_section_40

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Statelessness_section_41

Statelessness mandate Statelessness_section_42

UNHCR’s responsibilities were initially limited to stateless persons who were refugees, as set out in Paragraph 6(A)(II) of its statute and Article 1(A)(2) of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Statelessness_sentence_336

They were expanded following the adoption of the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_337

General Assembly Resolutions 3274 (XXIV) and 31/36 designated UNHCR as the body responsible for examining the cases of persons who claimed the benefit of the 1961 convention and assisting such persons in presenting their claims to the appropriate national authorities. Statelessness_sentence_338

Subsequently, the United Nations General Assembly conferred upon UNHCR a global mandate for the identification, prevention, and reduction of statelessness and for the international protection of stateless persons. Statelessness_sentence_339

This mandate has continued to evolve as the General Assembly has endorsed the conclusions of the UNHCR Executive Committee, notably Executive Committee Conclusion No. Statelessness_sentence_340

106 of 2006 on the "identification, prevention, and reduction of statelessness and protection of stateless persons". Statelessness_sentence_341

Global campaign to end statelessness Statelessness_section_43

The UNHCR launched a global campaign on 4 November 2014 to end statelessness within 10 years. Statelessness_sentence_342

As part of the campaign, it published a special report providing a comprehensive overview of statelessness and delving into the human impact of the phenomenon. Statelessness_sentence_343

It also published an open letter addressed to states, urging them to take action. Statelessness_sentence_344

In addition to UNHCR High Commissioner António Guterres, the letter was signed by Angelina Jolie, a UNHCR special envoy; Surin Pitsuwan, former secretary-general of ASEAN; Shirin Ebadi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate; Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu; Barbara Hendricks, a UNHCR honorary lifetime goodwill ambassador; Madeleine Albright, former US secretary of state; Carla Del Ponte, former chief prosecutor of two UN international criminal tribunals; Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and Louise Arbour, former UN high commissioners for human rights; and Dame Rosalyn Higgins, former president of the International Court of Justice, among others. Statelessness_sentence_345

In addition, a "global action plan to end statelessness" was launched following consultation with states, civil society, and international organisations. Statelessness_sentence_346

It sets out a guiding framework of 10 actions that need to be taken to end statelessness by 2024. Statelessness_sentence_347

The plan includes actions to: Statelessness_sentence_348


  • resolve existing situations of statelessness;Statelessness_item_8_21
  • prevent new cases of statelessness from emerging; andStatelessness_item_8_22
  • better identify and protect stateless persons.Statelessness_item_8_23

The 10 actions are: Statelessness_sentence_349


  • Action 1: Resolve existing major situations of statelessness.Statelessness_item_9_24
  • Action 2: Ensure that no child is born stateless.Statelessness_item_9_25
  • Action 3: Remove gender discrimination from nationality laws.Statelessness_item_9_26
  • Action 4: Prevent denial, loss, or deprivation of nationality on discriminatory grounds.Statelessness_item_9_27
  • Action 5: Prevent statelessness in cases of state succession.Statelessness_item_9_28
  • Action 6: Grant protection status to stateless migrants and facilitate their naturalisation.Statelessness_item_9_29
  • Action 7: Ensure birth registration for the prevention of statelessness.Statelessness_item_9_30
  • Action 8: Issue nationality documentation to those entitled to it.Statelessness_item_9_31
  • Action 9: Accede to the UN statelessness conventions.Statelessness_item_9_32
  • Action 10: Improve quantitative and qualitative data on stateless populations.Statelessness_item_9_33

International Stateless Persons Organisation Statelessness_section_44

In March 2012, the International Stateless Persons Organisation (ISPO), an international non-governmental organization, was founded by Dr. Fernando Macolor Cruz, a tribal prince and instructor of history and political science at Palawan State University in the Philippines. Statelessness_sentence_350

It aims to provide institutional representation to stateless persons throughout the world through a network of volunteer human rights law practitioners who act as country representatives. Statelessness_sentence_351

Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion Statelessness_section_45

The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion is an independent non-profit organisation dedicated to leading an integrated, interdisciplinary response to statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_352

It works on research, analysis, empowerment, advocacy, and awareness globally. Statelessness_sentence_353

It also maintains an online forum on statelessness. Statelessness_sentence_354

European Network on Statelessness Statelessness_section_46

The European Network on Statelessness, a civil society alliance, was set up to address the problem of 600,000 stateless persons in Europe and to act as a coordinating body and expert resource for organisations across Europe that work with or come into contact with stateless persons. Statelessness_sentence_355

See also Statelessness_section_47


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