3 million stateless people deserve nationality: UNHCR
London, Nov. 3, 2017 (AltAfrika)- About three million people worldwide are stateless, most of them minorities, a status that deprives them of an identity, rights, and often jobs, the United Nations refugee agency said on today.
Muslim Rohingyas in Buddhist-majority Myanmar form the world’s largest stateless minority, with some 600,000 having fled violence and repression since late August and taken refuge in Bangladesh, it said, Reuters reports.
According to UNHCR, governments should give nationality to people born on their territory if they would otherwise be stateless, and facilitate naturalization for longtime stateless residents.
Other stateless groups — many of whom have lived for generations in their homelands — include many Syrian Kurds, the Karana of Madagascar, Roma in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and the Pemba of Kenya, the report said.
“We can concretely say there are over 3 million identified stateless persons, but that would certainly not be the scope in totality,” Batchelor said.
Batchelor said there is a need to ensure that there is not a deliberate, arbitrary exclusion or deprivation of nationality.
Asked whether Rohingya fell into the category of those deliberately excluded and deprived of nationality, Batchelor said: “We can only look at the result … Myanmar has a nationality law. It outlines categories of persons that are considered to be citizens of Myanmar. The Rohingya are not on that list,” the report said.