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In international law, a stateless person is someone who is "not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law".[3] Some stateless people are also refugees. However, not all refugees are stateless, and many people who are stateless have never crossed an international border.[4] On November 12, 2018, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees warned there are about 12 million stateless people in the world.

Causes

Conflict of law

Conflicting nationality laws are one of the causes of statelessness.[5] Nationality is usually acquired through one of two modes, although many nations recognize both modes today:

  • 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.
  • 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.

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. 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. 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.

By sex

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.[6] Women in 27 countries cannot pass their nationality onto their offspring.[7] This can result in statelessness when the father is stateless, unknown, or otherwise unable to confer nationality. 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. 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.[8] Moreover, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women[9] prohibits sex-based discrimination in the conferral of nationality.

An important measure to prevent statelessness at birth bestows nationality to children born in a territory who would otherwise be stateless. This norm is stipulated in the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness;[10] appears in several regional human rights treaties, including the American Convention on Human Rights, the European Convention on Natio

Conflicting nationality laws are one of the causes of statelessness.[5] Nationality is usually acquired through one of two modes, although many nations recognize both modes today:

  • 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.
  • 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.

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. 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. 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.

By sex

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.[6] Women in 27 countries cannot pass their nationality onto their offspring.[7] This can result in statelessness when the father is stateless, unknown, or otherwise unable to confer nationality. 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. 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.[8] Moreover, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women[9] prohibits sex-based discrimination in the conferral of nationality.

An important measure to prevent statelessness at birth bestows nationality to children born in a territory who would otherwise be stateless. This norm is stipulated in the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness;[10] 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.[11]

Discrimination

In most large-scale statelessness situations, statelessness is a result of discrimination. Many states define their body of citizens based on ethnicity, leading to the exclusion of large groups. This violates international laws against discrimination. 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".[12]

State succession

In some cases, statelessness is a consequence of state succession.[13] 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. This was the case when the Soviet Union disintegrated, and also in the cases of Yugoslavia and Ethiopia.[14][15][16]

Administrative obstacles

People may also become stateless as a result of administrative and practical problems, especially when they are from a group whose nationality is questioned. Individuals might be entitled to citizenship but unable to undertake the necessary procedural steps. 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.

In disruptive conflict or post-conflict situations, many people find that difficulties in completing simple administrative procedures are exacerbated.[17] Such obstacles may affect the ability of individuals to complete procedures such as birth registration, fundamental to the prevention of statelessness in children. 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.[18] The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimated in 2013 that 230 million children under the age of 5 have not been registered.[19]

Not holding proof of nationali

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. 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. 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.

By sex

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.[6] Women in 27 countries cannot pass

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.[6] Women in 27 countries cannot pass their nationality onto their offspring.[7] This can result in statelessness when the father is stateless, unknown, or otherwise unable to confer nationality. 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. 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.[8] Moreover, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women[9] prohibits sex-based discrimination in the conferral of nationality.

An important measure to prevent statelessness at birth bestows nationality to children born in a territory who would otherwise be stateless. This norm is stipulated in the 1961 Conv

An important measure to prevent statelessness at birth bestows nationality to children born in a territory who would otherwise be stateless. This norm is stipulated in the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness;[10] 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.[11]

In most large-scale statelessness situations, statelessness is a result of discrimination. Many states define their body of citizens based on ethnicity, leading to the exclusion of large groups. This violates international laws against discrimination. 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".[12]

State succession

In some cases, statelessness is a consequence of state succession.[13] 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. This was the case when the Soviet Union disintegrated, and also in the cases of Yugoslavia and Ethiopia.[14][15][16]

Administrative obstacles

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.[41] The number of stateless people in offshore detention is unknown. There were a further 57 stateless people living in the community after being approved for a residence determination.[42] 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.[43] Notable cases include:

  • 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

    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.[51][52] 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. 13,445),[53] which came into force in 2017. The Migration Law provides protective measures for stateless persons, facilitating the guarantees of social inclusion and simplified naturalization for citizens without a homeland. 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. 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,[54] Brazil with its law, offers the naturalization, which means that these persons can be, by all effects, Brazilians. If the stateless persons do not want to apply for immediate naturalization, they will have granted at least definitive residency in the country.[55][56]

    Brunei

    There are a large number of stateless permanent residents in Brunei. 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. The government of Brunei has made obtaining citizenship possible, albeit difficult, for stateless people who have inhabited Brunei for many generations. Requirements include rigorous tests in Malay culture, customs, and language. Stateless permanent residents of Brunei are given an International Certificate of Identity, which allows them to travel overseas. The majority of Brunei's Chinese and Indians are permanent residents.

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

    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. The Sultan of Brunei has announced changes that may expedite the process by which stateless persons with permanent residence status sit for citizenship exams.[57]

    Canada

    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.[58] 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.

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

    There are a large number of stateless permanent residents in Brunei. 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. The government of Brunei has made obtaining citizenship possible, albeit difficult, for stateless people who have inhabited Brunei for many generations. Requirements include rigorous tests in Malay culture, customs, and language. Stateless permanent residents of Brunei are given an International Certificate of Identity, which allows them to travel overseas. The majority of Brunei's Chinese and Indians are permanent residents.

    Holders of International Certificates of Identity can enter Germany and Hungary visa-free for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. In the case of Germany, in theory, in order for an individual to ben

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

    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. The Sultan of Brunei has announced changes that may expedite the process by which stateless persons with permanent residence status sit for citizenship exams.[57]

    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.[58] 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.

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

    The new law limits citizenship by descent to one generation born outside Canada. 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. Since the passage of Bill C-37, this situation has already occurred at least twice:

    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.[60]

    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.[63]

    Dominican Republic

    There are an estimated 800,000 Haitians in the Dominican Republic.[64] 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. This is a policy practiced by most countries in the Western Hemisphere. But in Ju

    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.[63]

    There are an estimated 800,000 Haitians in the Dominican Republic.[64] 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. This is a policy practiced by most countries in the Western Hemisphere. 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".[65] Since 2013, the law has been expanded to address the children of non-citizens, such as Haitian migrants who immigrated after 1929.

    Since the passing of the amendment, nearly 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent have been stripped of their Dominican citizenship.[66] Without birth certificates, identification, or nationality, they are stateless and living illegally in the Dominic

    Since the passing of the amendment, nearly 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent have been stripped of their Dominican citizenship.[66] Without birth certificates, identification, or nationality, they are stateless and living illegally in the Dominican Republic. As of July 2015, according to the International Organization for Migration, about 1,133 individuals had voluntarily or involuntarily relocated to Haiti.[67] 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.

    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. 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. 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. They had to apply for naturalisation as immigrants, a process that included a knowledge test and a language test in Estonian or Latvian.[68][69] 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.

    These criteria mainly excluded ethnic Russians. Most were unable to pass the language test required. 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. These stateless persons can also travel freely within the Schengen area, but they ar

    These criteria mainly excluded ethnic Russians. Most were unable to pass the language test required. 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. These stateless persons can also travel freely within the Schengen area, but they are not permitted to work within the European Union.[70] As of 2013, more than 267,000 of residents of Latvia, and 91,000 of residents of Estonia, were stateless.[71]

    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. This also applies to a person of non-Greek ethnic origin born and domiciled abroad. 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." (The Minister of the Interior decides such cases, with the concurring opinion of the Citizenship Council.).

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

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

    Stateless individuals in Greece have had difficulty receiving social services like health care and education. 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. 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. 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. However, the government took no steps to carry out this promise.

    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. 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.

    The law was repealed in 1998, but not retroactively (i.e., those who had been affected did not have their citizenship automatically restored). Human rights groups and the United Nations have since helped many to regain their citizenship, but not without long struggles. 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.

    Hong Kong, as a special administrative region of China, does not have its own citizenship laws. The right of abode is the status that allows unrestricted right to live, work, vote and to host most public office in Hong Kong; persons with right of abode in Hong Kong are called permanent residents. Most permanent residents of Chinese descent are Chinese citizens as provided by the Chinese nationality law. Citizens of other countries who have obtained right of abode in Hong Kong remain the citizens of their respective countries, and enjoy all the rights accorded to permanent residents except for those restricted to permanent residents with Chinese citizenship, such as the right to a HKSAR passport and the eligibility to be elected as the Chief Executive.

    When Hong Kong was transferred from the United Kingdom to China on 1 July 1997, all British Dependent Territories citizens (BDTCs) connected to Hong Kong lost their British nationality, unless they had applied for the British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status. Most BDTCs of Chinese descent became Chinese citizens. BDTCs who did not become Chinese citizens and did not apply for BN(O) status while holding no other citizenship became British Overseas citizens (BOCs). As BN(O) and BOC statuses do not provide right of abode in the United Kingdom, BN(O)s and BOCs of non-Chinese descent who do not hold any other citizenship are de facto stateless. However, British nationality law allows BN(O)s and BOCs who are otherwise stateless to register for full British citizenship. In addition, the Chinese nationality law as applied in Hong Kong provides the option of naturalisation as a Chinese national.[72]

    Chinese citizens from the mainland who had migrated to Hong Kong on a One-way Permit lose their mainland hukou (household registration). The

    When Hong Kong was transferred from the United Kingdom to China on 1 July 1997, all British Dependent Territories citizens (BDTCs) connected to Hong Kong lost their British nationality, unless they had applied for the British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status. Most BDTCs of Chinese descent became Chinese citizens. BDTCs who did not become Chinese citizens and did not apply for BN(O) status while holding no other citizenship became British Overseas citizens (BOCs). As BN(O) and BOC statuses do not provide right of abode in the United Kingdom, BN(O)s and BOCs of non-Chinese descent who do not hold any other citizenship are de facto stateless. However, British nationality law allows BN(O)s and BOCs who are otherwise stateless to register for full British citizenship. In addition, the Chinese nationality law as applied in Hong Kong provides the option of naturalisation as a Chinese national.[72]

    Chinese citizens from the mainland who had migrated to Hong Kong on a One-way Permit lose their mainland hukou (household registration). They then must reside in Hong Kong for 7 years before gaining the right of abode in Hong Kong. Therefore, persons who had migrated out of the mainland but have not obtained Hong Kong permanent residency, while technically not stateless, are unable to exercise rights and privileges associated with citizenship in either the mainland or Hong Kong.

    Stateless permanent residents of Hong Kong and Chinese migrants without right of abode may apply for a Hong Kong Document of Identity for Visa Purposes, which allows them to travel overseas.[73] This document (with few exceptions) requires the holder to apply for and receive a travel visa prior to departure from Hong Kong.

    Children born to foreign domestic workers are not classified as citizens because Chinese nationality is determined by blood ties. Under the visa regulations governing foreign domestic workers, the government of Hong Kong may award an unconditional stay visa. Many of these children can obtain citizenship in their parents' country of birth. When they are put up for adoption, however, citizenship applications can become challenging. In cases where both adoptive parents are Chinese nationals, the children will likely remain stateless. Applying for Chinese citizenship by naturalisation is only possible for permanent residents of Hong Kong, and an unconditional stay visa does not grant this status.[citation needed]

    Eliana Rubashkyn, a transgender woman and refugee, became de facto stateless in 2013 after being detained for over eight months on the grounds that her appearance did not match her passport photo.[74] She suffered mistreatment in detention at Chep Lap Kok Airport and in Kowloon's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.[75][76] She was granted refugee status, but Hong Kong did not recognize her as a refugee because it is not a signatory to the refugee convention of 1951 and sought to deport her to Colombia. In 2013, the UN sought a third country to resettle her due to the lack of protections for LGBT people and refugees in Hong Kong. After almost one year, a UN declaration recognized her as a woman under international law, and she was sent to New Zealand, where she received asylum.

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

    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.[77] He spent much of those 13 years in prison waiting for a hearing, sometimes homeless or living with volunteer families. Both states denied him citizenship.

    The BBC linked these problems to the political atmosphere caused by the Kashmir conflict. The Indian People's Union for Civil Liberties told the BBC it had worked on hundreds of cases with similar features. It called Idrees' case a "violation of all human rights, national and international laws", adding, "Everybody has a right to a nation." 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".&

    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.[77] He spent much of those 13 years in prison waiting for a hearing, sometimes homeless or living with volunteer families. Both states denied him citizenship.

    The BBC linked these problems to the political atmosphere caused by the Kashmir conflict. The Indian People's Union for Civil Liberties told the BBC it had worked on hundreds of cases with similar features. It called Idrees' case a "violation of all human rights, national and international laws", adding, "Everybody has a right to a nation." 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".[78]

    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. 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. As a result, the Bihari people became stateless.

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

    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. Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko stated that the ISIL sympathizers "are stateless". 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".[79]

    Japan

    When 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. Roughly half of these people later received South Korean citizenship. The other half were affiliated with North Korea, which is unrecognized by Japan, and they are legally stateless. 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. In 2010, Chōsen-seki holders were banned from South Korea.[80][81]

    UNHCR published a study on statelessness in Japan in 2010.[82]

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

    The first Bedoon demonstrations for nationality rights took place on February 18, 2011.[85] That year, Kuwaiti courts ruled that Bedoon could be issued birth, marriage and death certificates.[86] Before those rulings, Bedoons were impeded in education and employment by the lack o

    The first Bedoon demonstrations for nationality rights took place on February 18, 2011.[85] That year, Kuwaiti courts ruled that Bedoon could be issued birth, marriage and death certificates.[86] Before those rulings, Bedoons were impeded in education and employment by the lack of such documentation.[87]

    The Kuwaiti government has given some stateless people conditional rights and has worked to improve their overall standard of living. The government has incorporated into Kuwaiti society those who can provide documentation verifying that their male descendants resided in Kuwait prior to 1967.[citation needed] Many families cannot provide such documents because they were never issued by the government.[citation needed] Thus, only a minority of stateless people in Kuwait have access to this status.

    Stateless people in Kuwait are divided into five groups:

    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. It is common for cards not to be renewed. 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.[citation needed] Of the four color classifications, only the green card is linked to the provision of services such as:

    • free medical treatment[88]
    • Public funded charity education[88]
    • birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates[88]
    • inheritance and guardianship documentation[88]

      According to media reports,[citation needed] Kuwait does not prioritize stateless people for citizenship. 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. There is no public information regarding the number of stateless people who are granted Kuwaiti citizenship.

      In 2013, BBC News reported that 4,000 "foreigners" would receive citizenship.[89] (The number was higher than usual because in 2012, there was no such round of citizenship distribution.) 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.

      Local news sources in Kuwait have cited parliamentarians in reporting that the government wants to deport Bedoons.[citation needed] Some humanitarian agencies have reported that posters advertising fraudulent passport services were placed in government offices, and that workers adv

      In 2013, BBC News reported that 4,000 "foreigners" would receive citizenship.[89] (The number was higher than usual because in 2012, there was no such round of citizenship distribution.) 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.

      Local news sources in Kuwait have cited parliamentarians in reporting that the government wants to deport Bedoons.[citation needed] 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. 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."[90] 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.[91] Kuwait also expelled some 400,000 Palestinians during the Iraq War.

      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.[92] At least one author who provided information for the United Nations' Universal Periodic Review of Kuwait was blacklisted and accused of such security offences. Since then, parliamentarians who have spoken in opposition to the Kuwaiti government have been rendered stateless.[93]

      Restrictions on employment and education mean that many stateless people are never employed. Some men who sell fruit in the street are made to pack up their things or risk arrest for security offences. The streets of the segregated communities of Taima and Sulabiya are deserted during the daytime because whole families are effectively confined to their homes.[citation needed]

      There are no statistics available on what portion of the stateless population has access to government-funded services. 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. 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.[94]

      Inside Karachi city there is a stateless population of approximately one million Pakistani Bengalis, denied citizenship after the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.[citation needed] There are some refugees who entered from Afghanistan many years ago.[95]

      Qatar

      Most o

      Most of Qatar's Bedoon are stateless tribesmen from the Ghufrani tribe. In 2005, Qatar stripped the citizenship of over 5,000 members of the tribe. After international outcry, it restored the citizenship of approximately 2,000.[96] Today, there are between 1,200 and 1,500 Bedoon in Qatar.[96][97]

      United Arab Emirates

      Abbas Shiblak estimates that over half of the Palestinian people in the world are stateless.[101]

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

      After Israel annexed East Jerusalem following the Six-Day War in 1967, Palestinians living there received, along with Israeli Palestinians in Lebanon and those in Syria are constitutionally denied citizenship, and are thus stateless.

      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. Shortly after the offer was made, it was rejected by Arab leaders. Almost all Jerusalem Palestinians have shied away from citizenship for ideological reasons. Between 1967 and 2007, only 12,000 of the 250,000 Palestinians living in Jerusalem applied for Israeli citizenship.[102][103] Since 2007, more have applied, although the majority still reject it.[104] Those who do not have Israeli citizenship are generally stateless.

      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.[citation needed]

      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. According to international law,[citation needed] 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'.

      Dissidents and other people can have their citizenship revoked.[105] Osama bin Laden was asked to hand in his passport in the 1990s.[106]

      Myanmar