Statelessness refers to a situation where an individual is not considered a national of any state. It is very common that most people who are stateless have never crossed a country border. Some of the common causes of statelessness include: -
Conflict of law
There are two common ways of acquiring nationality.
A scenario where an individual is born in a country that does not recognise nationality on the basis of been born in that country. If that child then grows in another country that recognises only nationality by birth. Since the second country only recognises nationality birth, both the parent and the child cannot be citizens of the third country. And since the first country does not accept nationality by birth, the child cannot lay claim to the first country either. The child in this situation may therefore be deemed stateless.
There are a number of countries in the world that do not allow female citizens to confer nationality to their children. Up to 27 countries in the world fall under this category. If the father in this situation is stateless, there is a strong likelihood that the child(ren) will also be stateless since nationality cannot be conferred by the mother.
Statelessness as a result of discrimination may arise where there the laws defining nationality are strict and regimented such that it excludes certain other parts of the society or the evolution of of societal normal and universal culture.
This may arise where a state ceases to exist; in most cases in control of another state.
This is where persons are citizens of non-state territories. By definition, a stateless person is someone who has no state, so if you are from a place that is not deemed to be a state, you are automatically stateless. Practical examples where include people born and living in a place like western Sahara or Northern Cyprus.
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