Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Statelessness roundup - July and Aug 2017

It's been a busy few months in the world of statelessness research. UNHCR's most recent report on the iBelong campaign is out. The Organization of American States (OAS) has put out new legal guidelines on various aspects of ending statelessness. The European Network on Statelessness has launched its report on the detention of stateless persons. And the West African Banjul Plan is now live. Various civil society groups also advocated for more attention to statelessness in front of the European Parliament, including ISI. (A detailed summary is available in the ISI report, linked below.)

Malaysia is ramping up its program to address the issue of statelessness amongst persons if Indian descent living in Malaysia. If resolved, this would mark a considerable win in the fight against statelessness and resolve one of the open wounds of the colonial period.

Madagascar, the United States and Sierra Leone have taken a big step into the future by adopting gender-neutral citizenship laws.

ISI has also released the two latest reports here and here. Highlights include info from the recent meeting of academics in NY. The ISI has also provided commentary on several important US Supreme Court cases on gender discrimination in nationality law, the revocation of nationality and the requirements of birth certificates for children born to same-sex couples. It also provides a recap of developments on the Rohingya.

ISI has collaborated on a new book, "Understanding Statelessness" and a new book has also come out on citizenship, boundaries and identity.

The issue of the stateless bidoon in Kuwait drags on with no resolution in sight. In the latest ominous development, the government is now planning to "look into" the issue of bidoon who have "obtained fake passports."

Persons targeted by the Turkish government and living abroad are at high risk of statelessness, according to ISI. Stripping dissidents of citizenship is increasingly popular with governments all over the world and represents a disturbing return to the nationality policies of governments in the lead-up to WWII. Hannah Arendt would not be pleased. ISI has also highlighted deprivation of nationality by Kazakhstan.

Ethiopia has granted ID cards to Jews and Rastafarians in a welcome move that will do much to protect the rights of persecuted minority religions.