Essay On Causes Of Statelessness

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The problem first started to stir the consciousness of the international community when words such as ‘inhumane,’ ‘embarrassing’ and ‘a blemish in international law’ were applied to the plight of stateless people. UNHCR was mandated to assist stateless refugees in 1950. While a significant number of refugees and asylum-seekers are also stateless, their numbers are usually reflected in figures relating to refugees and asylum-seekers. During the past five years, 20% of all refugees resettled by UNHCR have also been stateless. UNHCR was mandated in the 1970s to assist stateless people under the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and its role was consolidated in 1995. The legal cornerstones of UNHCR’s work are the 1954 Convention relating to the…show more content…
Direct discrimination results in statelessness when a state deprives certain minorities of citizenship for political reasons, or when people are displaced from and rejected by their country. Structural inadequacies that lead to statelessness include unregistered births and a woman’s inability in certain countries to pass their citizenship to offspring. An estimated 12 to 15 million individuals currently have no citizenship. One major cause of statelessness is the existence of gaps in a country's legal regime relating to nationality. Every country has a law, or laws, which establish under what circumstances one acquires nationality or can have it withdrawn. If nationality laws are not carefully written and correctly applied, some people can be excluded and left stateless. An age-old example is children found in a country who are of unknown parentage (foundlings). If nationality can only be acquired based on descent from a national, these children can be left stateless. Fortunately most nationality laws avoid this and recognize them as nationals of the state in which they are

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