Saturday, December 20, 2014

Stateless in Africa

According to United Nations Human Rights for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates, statelessness affected up to 10 million people worldwide leaving them with no identity. Statelessness refers to the condition whereby an individual is not considered as a national by any State under the operations of its law and is, therefore, not entitled to any right or privileges enjoyed by the nationals.

Statistics indicates that about one million people living in West Africa are Stateless. This was disclosed by Madam Emmanuelle Mitte, Senior Regional Protection Officer, UNHCR Country Representation in Senegal.  She said about 60 percent of stateless people were children because the States in which they were born did not register them as their parents were not recognized as citizens by the laws of those States. According to her, statelessness in West Africa occurred for a variety of reasons, including discrimination against specific groups in a country, discrepancies in nationality laws and administrative practices obstructing access to documentation. “Others include the failure to include all residents in the body of citizens when a state becomes independent, or when a part of a territory is annexed to a new state,” she added. 

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