Individuals without nationalities are deprived of the ‘right to have rights’ in West Africa

Published: 10/Apr/2015

Ousmane has been stateless all his life. His family — who were from Burkina Faso — were living in Côte d’Ivoire at the time of his birth — a birth, however, that was not registered. Abducted from his family when he was 6 years old to work on cocoa plantations, he has lost all ties with his parents and is unable to establish their identity. As a result, the authorities of neither Côte d’Ivoire nor Burkina Faso recognized him as a national of their country.

Being stateless has put Ousmane in a position of extreme vulnerability. “I work in the fields to survive because I do not have a choice. I would have liked to be a driver. But because I do not have papers, no one will hire me… When you do not have papers, you cannot do anything. I hope to have a better life, be like my friends, be happy; be like everyone else. ”

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Themes: Statelessness
Regions: West Africa, Côte d'Ivoire
Year: 2015