From: Inside Story

Why are so many people stateless?

The UN says more than 10 million people around the world do not have a country they legally belong to.

They are known as the stateless. People who have neither citizenship nor a nationality.

Often it means they have no travel documents, find it difficult to get a job, and are denied access to medical care and other state services. Their plight is highlighted in a report by the UN.

The most widely covered case in recent months has been Myanmar’s Rohingya community. It became officially the largest stateless minority in the world after Myanmar passed a law in 1982 that denied the Rohingya citizenship.

Until August, there were about one million Rohingya in Myanmar, but more than half of them are now in Bangladesh after fleeing a military crackdown.

But why, in 2017, are so many people in this position? And what can be done about it?

Presenter: Martine Dennis


Melanie Khanna – Chief of Statelessness Section at UNHCR

Amal de Chickera – The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion

Wakar Uddin – Director-General, the Arakan Rohingya Union