West Africa: Plight of persons without nationality

Published: 8/Oct/2016
Source: The Pulse (Nigeria)

The UNHCR and ECOWAS recently signed an MoU to improve the protection environment for stateless persons.

Pierre is eighteen years old. He was born to Burkinabe parents in Ghana. He was not registered at birth and neither were his parents. An orphan with no nationality, Pierre is stateless.

While most people are conversant with words like internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and migrants, others do not have an idea of what it means to be stateless.

“Statelessness? I have never heard that word before. Do you mean people without states? How is that even possible? Everyone has a state. There is no such thing as statelessness,”  John Oladapo, a civil servant told Pulse correspondent in Abuja.

Just like Mr Oladapo, most people may not have come across that word neither are they aware of the consequences that come with being stateless.

The international legal definition of a stateless person is “one who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law”.

Simply put, a stateless person does not have the nationality of any country.

Read further here.


Themes: Statelessness
Regions: West Africa
Year: 2016