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Statelessness and 'right to have rights'. Importance of citizenship in protecting human rights of stateless communities von Aggarwal, Arshi (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 23.12.2014
  • Verlag: GRIN Verlag
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Statelessness and 'right to have rights'. Importance of citizenship in protecting human rights of stateless communities

Thesis (M.A.) from the year 2014 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Topic: Public International Law and Human Rights, grade: 66, University of Sheffield (Department of Politics), course: Thesis, language: English, abstract: A stateless person is an individual 'who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law'. In other words, a stateless individual is a person who does not legally belong anywhere. No government is responsible for his or her rights, survival or existence. Stateless people are forced to lead an illegal life and are highly vulnerable to increased ostracism, discrimination and insecurity. Where citizenship is the norm, statelessness is an exceptional phenomenon. Some people are stateless because of ethnic persecution; others lost their citizenship during reformation of the state; some simply fell between the cracks of citizenship laws; and others passed on their statelessness to their children. National citizenship provides people with a sense of identity and is a key to full participation in society (UNHCR, 2012:2). Since only 'citizens' are allowed an unrestricted right to enter and reside in a country under international law, stateless people are often left without any residence permit and are subject to repeated or continuous detention. The purpose of this project is to analyse and establish the importance of a 'right to have rights' or citizenship by examining and evaluating the plight of existing stateless people in Latvia, Estonia and Myanmar. The study explores the human rights conditions created due to statelessness, adequacy of international organisations' response to such situations and potency of current legal framework for the protection of stateless individuals.

Produktinformationen

    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 42
    Erscheinungsdatum: 23.12.2014
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783656866510
    Verlag: GRIN Verlag
    Serie: Akademische Schriftenreihe Bd.V286323
    Größe: 319kBytes
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Statelessness and 'right to have rights'. Importance of citizenship in protecting human rights of stateless communities

Part One: Why Statelessness?

Chapter 1: Introduction

A stateless person is an individual 'who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law' (UNHCR, 2010a:6). In other words, a stateless individual is a person who does not legally belong anywhere. No government is responsible for his or her rights, survival or existence. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) publication What would life be like if you had no nationality? sums up their predicament: 'if you are stateless, you may not be able to go to university; get a job; get medical care; own property; travel; register the birth of your children; marry and found a family; enjoy legal protection; have a sense of identity and belonging; [or] participate fully in developments in a world composed of states, in which nationality is key to membership' (UNHCR: 1999). Thus, stateless people are forced to lead an illegal life and are highly vulnerable to increased ostracism, discrimination and insecurity (van Waas, 2008:12). Where citizenship is the norm, statelessness is an exceptional phenomenon. And yet, according to UNHCR's estimates, there are around 12 million stateless individuals across the globe (2012:8; 2010b). A 2003 survey confirmed that there is no region in the world that is exempt from this problem (van Waas: 2008:10). Some people are stateless because of ethnic persecution; others lost their citizenship during reformation of the state; some simply fell between the cracks of citizenship laws; and others passed on their statelessness to their children.

National citizenship provides people with a sense of identity and is a key to full participation in society (UNHCR, 2012:2). Since only 'citizens' are allowed an unrestricted right to enter and reside in a country under international law, stateless people are often left without any residence permit and are subject to repeated or continuous detention (Blitz and Lynch, 2009:22-23, van Waas: 2008:241-2). Statelessness may also have severe knock-on effects for social cohesion and stability, as without any social or legal representation, stateless people are prone to feel insecure and dejected (UNHCR, 2012: 37). The individual insecurity can escalate to collective tension in a large stateless group at the communal, national or international level. There are instances where stateless groups, such as Bidoons from Kuwait and the Rohingyas from Myanmar, have resorted to mass displacement to escape their current condition (van Waas, 2008: 13). Formal nationality status conditions individuals' abilities to realise their full potential. Without citizenship, stateless persons do not have right to vote and thus, no voice in the political process (UNHCR, 2006:6). Basically, statelessness means no 'right to have rights' (Arendt, 1967:296). Such individuals are not only being currently deprived of their basic human rights, but they do not have any hope to instil any change in the future as well. Preventing and reducing statelessness is an effective way to tackle one root cause of such problems.

I. Research question and design

The purpose of this project is to analyse and establish the importance of a 'right to have rights' or citizenship by examining and evaluating the plight of existing stateless people. The study shall seek to explore the human rights conditions created due to statelessness, adequacy of international organisations' response to such situations and potency of current legal framework for the protection of stateless individuals. In essence, the overall research question posed in this work is the following:

Is formal citizenship the only mechanism to better include and protect stateless people?

To seek an answer to the q

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