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Statelessness

  • The statelessness conventions and UNHCR readings on statelessness

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: Stateless People (UNHCR page)
    Description/subject: " Searching for Citizenship Nationality is a legal bond between a state and an individual, and statelessness refers to the condition of an individual who is not considered as a national by any state. Although stateless people may sometimes also be refugees, the two categories are distinct and both groups are of concern to UNHCR. Statelessness occurs for a variety of reasons including discrimination against minority groups in nationality legislation, failure to include all residents in the body of citizens when a state becomes independent (state succession) and conflicts of laws between states....." What is Statelessness?_ An explanation of the two kinds of statelessness: de jure and de facto..... Who is Stateless and Where?_ There are an estimated 12 million stateless people in dozens of countries around the world..... UNHCR Actions_ UNHCR works in four key ways: identification, protection, prevention and reduction..... Working with Partners_ We work with governments, civil society and aid organizations to address statelessness. This page contains Documents and Publications on Statelessness including Statelessness in the News, Documents on Statelessness laws, commentaries, historical documents, UNHCR's role in relation to statelessness and a useful link to Statelessness Documents on Refworld site.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UNHCR
    Format/size: html, pdf
    Alternate URLs: http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/search?page=&comid=4cb578b36&cid=49aea9390&scid=...
    http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/search?page=&comid=4a310af06&cid=49aea93a7d&keyw...
    http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/statelessness.html
    Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


    Title: Suggested reading on statelessness - UNHCR and other UN and international documents
    Description/subject: Search results for Statelessness. A rich seam of reports, Excom conclusions, guidelines, commentaries, descriptions and case studies etc. on statelessness.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UNHCR
    Format/size: html, pdf
    Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


    Title: UN Conventions on Statelessness
    Description/subject: Texts of the instruments dealing with statelessness: The 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons; States parties, declarations and reservations to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons; Objectives and key provisions of the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons; The 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness; States parties, declarations and reservations to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness; Objectives and key provisions of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UNHCR
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


    Individual Documents

    Title: Ending statelessness within 10 years
    Date of publication: 2014
    Description/subject: "Stateless people are found in all parts of the globe — Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas—entire communities, new-born babies, children, couples and older people. Their one common curse, the lack of any nationality, deprives them of rights that the majority of the global population takes for granted. Often they are excluded from cradle to grave—being denied a legal identity when they are born, access to education, health care, marriage and job opportunities during their lifetime and even the dignity of an official burial and a death certificate when they die. Statelessness is a man-made problem and occurs because of a bewildering array of causes. Entire swathes of a population may become stateless overnight due to political or legal directives or the redrawing of state boundaries. Families endure generations of statelessness despite having deep-rooted and longstanding ties to their communities and countries..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UNHCR
    Format/size: pdf (6.12MB)
    Date of entry/update: 27 November 2014


    Title: "Protecting the Rights of Stateless Persons"
    Date of publication: September 2010
    Description/subject: " A Personal Appeal from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: Today, millions of people around the world face serious difficulties owing to statelessness. The Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons provides a framework for States to assist stateless people – allowing them to live in security and dignity until their situation can be resolved. Presently, very few States are parties to this instrument. We need to change that. I call on States to accede to the Convention and pledge the full support of my Office to governments to help implement its provisions....."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UNHCR
    Format/size: pdf (1.42 MB)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.unhcr.org/4ca5941c9.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


    Title: Evaluation of UNHCR's role and activities in relation to statelessness
    Date of publication: July 2001
    Description/subject: " UNHCR’s Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit (EPAU) is committed to the systematic examination and assessment of UNHCR policies, programmes, projects and practices. EPAU also promotes rigorous research on issues related to the work of UNHCR and encourages an active exchange of ideas and information between humanitarian practitioners, policymakers and the research community. All of these activities are undertaken with the purpose of strengthening UNHCR’s operational effectiveness, thereby enhancing the organization’s capacity to fulfil its mandate on behalf of refugees and other displaced people. The work of the unit is guided by the principles of transparency, independence, consultation and relevance....."
    Author/creator: Magnus Engstrom and Naoko Obi
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UNHCR Evaluation and policy analysis unit (EPAU/2001/09)
    Format/size: pdf (255.26 K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.unhcr.org/3b961ab14.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


    Title: 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness (English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
    Date of publication: 30 August 1961
    Description/subject: "The Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness was adopted on 30 August 1961 and entered into force on 13 December 1975. It complements the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and was the result of over a decade of international negotiations on how to avoid the incidence of statelessness. Together, these two treaties form the foundation of the international legal framework to address statelessness, a phenomenon which continues to adversely a#ect the lives of millions of people around the world. "e 1961 Convention is the leading international instrument that sets rules for the conferral and non-withdrawal of citizenship to prevent cases of statelessness from arising. By setting out rules to limit the occurrence of statelessness, the Convention gives effect to article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which recognizes that “everyone has the right to a nationality....”
    Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
    Source/publisher: United Nations
    Format/size: pdf (208K)
    Date of entry/update: 11 February 2014


    Title: CONVENTION RELATING TO THE STATUS OF STATELESS PERSONS
    Date of publication: 28 September 1954
    Description/subject: Adopted on 28 September 1954 by a Conference of Plenipotentiaries convened by Economic and Social Council resolution 526 A (XVII) of 26 April 1954 Entry into force: 6 June 1960, in accordance with article 39
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: United Nations
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


  • The rights of non-citizens

    Individual Documents

    Title: The Rights of Non-citizens
    Date of publication: 2006
    Description/subject: Introduction: "All persons should, by virtue of their essential humanity, enjoy all human rights. Exceptional distinctions, for example between citizens and non-citizens, can be made only if they serve a legitimate State objective and are proportional to the achievement of that objective. Citizens are persons who have been recognized by a State as having an effective link with it. International law generally leaves to each State the authority to determine who qualifies as a citizen. Citizenship can ordinarily be acquired by being born in the country (known as jus soli or the law of the place), being born to a parent who is a citizen of the country (known as jus sanguinis or the law of blood), naturalization or a combination of these approaches. A non-citizen is a person who has not been recognized as having these effective links to the country where he or she is located. There are different groups of non-citizens, including permanent residents, migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, victims of trafficking, foreign students, temporary visitors, other kinds of non-immigrants and stateless people. While each of these groups may have rights based on separate legal regimes, the problems faced by most, if not all, non-citizens are very similar. These common concerns affect approximately 175 million individuals worldwide—or 3 per cent of the world’s population. Non-citizens should have freedom from arbitrary killing, inhuman treatment, slavery, arbitrary arrest, unfair trial, invasions of privacy, refoulement, forced labour, child labour and violations of humanitarian law. They also have the right to marry; protection as minors; peaceful association and assembly; equality; freedom of religion and belief; social, cultural and economic rights; labour rights (for example, as to collective bargaining, workers’ compensation, healthy and safe working conditions); and consular protection. While all human beings are entitled to equality in dignity and rights, States may narrowly draw distinctions between citizens and non-citizens with respect to political rights explicitly guaranteed to citizens and freedom of movement. For non-citizens, there is, nevertheless, a large gap between the rights that international human rights law guarantees to them and the realities that they face. In many countries, there are institutional and pervasive problems confronting non-citizens. Nearly all categories of non-citizens face official and non-official discrimination. While in some countries there may be legal guarantees of equal treatment and recognition of the importance of non-citizens in achieving economic prosperity, non-citizens face hostile social and practical realities. They experience xenophobia, racism and sexism; language barriers and unfamiliar customs; lack of political representation; difficulty realizing their economic, social and cultural rights—particularly the right to work, the right to education and the right to health care; difficulty obtaining identity documents; and lack of means to challenge violations of their human rights effectively or to have them remedied. Some non-citizens are subjected to arbitrary and often indefinite detention. They may have been traumatized by experiences of persecution or abuse in their countries of origin, but are detained side by side with criminals in prisons, which are frequently overcrowded, unhygienic and dangerous. In addition, detained non-citizens may be denied contact with their families, access to legal assistance and the opportunity to challenge their detention. Official hostility—often expressed in national legislation—has been especially flagrant during periods of war, racial animosity and high unemployment. For example, the situation has worsened since 11 September 2001, as some Governments have detained non-citizens in response to fears of terrorism. The narrow exceptions to the principle of non-discrimination that are permitted by international human rights law do not justify such pervasive violations of non-citizens’ rights. The principal objective of this publication is to highlight all the diverse sources of international law and emerging international standards protecting the rights of non-citizens, especially: The relevant provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and other human rights treaties; The general comments, country conclusions and adjudications by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and other treaty bodies; The reports of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights thematic procedures on the human rights of migrants and racism; The relevant work of such other global institutions as the International Labour Organization and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; and The reports of regional institutions, such as the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: United Nations
    Format/size: pdf (636K)
    Date of entry/update: 25 August 2012


    Title: The rights of non-citizens: Final report - Addendum 1, "United Nations activities"
    Date of publication: 26 May 2003
    Description/subject: Final report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. David Weissbrodt, submitted in accordance with Sub-Commission decision 2000/103, Commission resolution 2000/104 and Economic and Social Council decision 2000/283 Addendum United Nations activities*..."This addendum (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/23/Add.1) to the final report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of non-citizens (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/23) supplements the 2002 addendum (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/25/Add.1) to the progress report of the Special Rapporteur (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/25) and the 2001 addendum (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2001/20/Add.1) to the preliminary report of the Special Rapporteur (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2001/20) by providing updated jurisprudence and concluding observations with respect to the rights of non-citizens. This addendum also includes a new section on the relevant jurisprudence of the Committee Against Torture. The jurisprudence and concluding observations in this addendum cover treaty-monitoring body sessions from March 2002 through March 2003..."
    Author/creator: David Weissbrodt
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: United Nations (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/23/Add.1)
    Format/size: pdf (87K)
    Date of entry/update: 24 August 2012


    Title: The rights of non-citizens: Final report - Addendum 2 - "Regional activities"
    Date of publication: 26 May 2003
    Description/subject: Final report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. David Weissbrodt, submitted in accordance with Sub-Commission decision 2000/103, Commission resolution 2000/104 and Economic and Social Council decision 2000/283 Addendum Regional activities..."This addendum (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/23/Add.2) to the final report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of non-citizens (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/23) supplements the 2002 addendum (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/25/Add.2) to the progress report of the Special Rapporteur (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/25) and the 2001 addendum (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2001/20/Add.1) to the preliminary report of the Special Rapporteur (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2001/20) by updating the expanded examination of the rights of non-citizens within regional human rights bodies. The addendum updates the jurisprudence of those regional bodies that have adopted recent decisions related to the rights of non-citizens, including the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. It also contains a new section on the European Social Committee. Finally, it again discusses the Framework Convention on National Minorities, adopted under the auspices of the Council of Europe, and include recent decision based on that instrument..."
    Author/creator: David Weissbrodt
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: United Nations (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/23/Add.2)
    Format/size: pdf (88K)
    Date of entry/update: 24 August 2012


    Title: The rights of non-citizens: Final report - Addendum 3, "Examples of practices in regard to non-citizens"
    Date of publication: 26 May 2003
    Description/subject: The rights of non-citizens Final report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. David Weissbrodt, submitted in accordance with Sub-Commission decision 2000/103, Commission resolution 2000/104 and Economic and Social Council decision 2000/283 Addendum Examples of practices in regard to non-citizens..."While the main report (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/23) summarizes the norms that protect the rights of non-citizens, in many countries non-citizens do not actually enjoy those rights. One of the most common problems human rights treaty bodies have encountered in reviewing States' reports is that some national constitutions guarantee rights to "citizens" whereas international human rights law would – with the exception of the rights of public participation, of movement,4 and of economic rights in developing countries5 – provide rights to all persons.6 Of the countries responding to the questionnaire, however, most countries extended constitutionally protected human rights to every person7 or specifically to non-citizens.8 Other countries protect the rights of non-citizens, including refugees, by statute9 or by incorporating treaties into national law.10 Constitutions in some countries, however, inappropriately distinguish between the rights granted to persons who obtained their citizenship by birth and other citizens.11 Furthermore, the mere statement of the general principle of non-discrimination in a constitution is not a sufficient response to the requirements of human rights law..."
    Author/creator: David Weissbrodt,
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: United Nations (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/23/Add.3)
    Format/size: pdf (88K)
    Date of entry/update: 24 August 2012


    Title: The rights of non-citizens: Final report - Addendum 4, "Summary of Comments Received from U.N. Member States to Special Rapporteur's Questionnaire"
    Date of publication: 26 May 2003
    Description/subject: Final report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. David Weissbrodt, submitted in accordance with Sub-Commission decision 2000/103, Commission resolution 2000/104 and Economic and Social Council decision 2000/283 Addendum Summary of Comments Received from U.N. Member States to Special Rapporteur's Questionnaire..."This Addendum IV summarizes1 the comments received from 22 Member States in response to the questionnaire prepared by the Special Rapporteur and disseminated pursuant to Commission decision 2002/107 of 25 April 2002. For reasons of expense and length it was not possible to reproduce the full text of the responses received from all Member States. Hence, this summary was prepared to express particular appreciation for the quite substantial number of responses received and to give others a sense of the substance contained in the replies. The Special Rapporteur also received responses from 7 intergovernmental organizations and 4 nongovernmental organizations, plus the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of migrants.2 The Special Rapporteur on the human rights of non-citizens took into account all of the responses in preparing the final report and other addenda and is extremely grateful for all the assistance afforded in those responses..." Includes replies from Thailand and India.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: United Nations (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/23/Add.4)
    Format/size: pdf (101K)
    Date of entry/update: 25 May 2005


    Title: The rights of non-citizens: Final report
    Date of publication: 23 May 2003
    Description/subject: Final report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. David Weissbrodt, submitted in accordance with Sub-Commission decision 2000/103, Commission resolution 2000/104 and Economic and Social Council decision 2000/283..."Based on a review of international human rights law, the Special Rapporteur has concluded that all persons should by virtue of their essential humanity enjoy all human rights unless exceptional distinctions, for example, between citizens and non-citizens, serve a legitimate State objective and are proportional to the achievement of that objective. For example, non-citizens should enjoy freedom from arbitrary killing, inhuman treatment slavery, forced labour, child labour, arbitrary arrest, unfair trial, invasions of privacy, refoulement and violations of humanitarian law. They also have the right to marry, protection as minors, peaceful association and assembly, equality, freedom of religion and belief, social, cultural, and economic rights in general, labour rights (for example, as to collective bargaining, workers� compensation, social security, appropriate working conditions and environment, etc.) and consular protection..."
    Author/creator: David Weissbrodt
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: United Nations (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/23)
    Format/size: pdf (83K)
    Date of entry/update: 24 August 2012


  • Statelessness: general studies

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: Suggested reading on statelessness - UNHCR and other UN and international documents
    Description/subject: Search results for Statelessness. A rich seam of reports, Excom conclusions, guidelines, commentaries, descriptions and case studies etc. on statelessness.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: UNHCR
    Format/size: html, pdf
    Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


    Individual Documents

    Title: Lives on Hold - The Human Costs of Statelessness
    Date of publication: February 2005
    Description/subject: "Lives on Hold: The Human Costs of Statelessness is Refugees International's new 50-page report that highlights the difficulties faced by an estimated 11 million individuals worldwide who have no citizenship or effective nationality. These stateless people are international orphans who have fallen through the cracks of the United Nations. They regularly cannot participate in the political process of any country and are guaranteed no legal protections. Because of their status, millions of stateless people have difficulty in obtaining jobs and owning property, receive inadequate access to healthcare and education, and suffer sexual and physical violence. The report documents the human costs of the problem in more than 70 countries with particular emphasis on groups in Bangladesh, Estonia and the United Arab Emirates, and provides recommendations to the international community on what must be done by the UN, individual states and donor governments like the United States."
    Author/creator: M. Lynch
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Refugees International
    Format/size: pdf (1.49MB)
    Date of entry/update: 16 February 2005


    Title: Stateless and unregistered children
    Date of publication: 1998
    Description/subject: Box 6.4 of the chapter on Statelessness and Citizenship from the 1997 "The State of the World's Refugees". "In most countries, babies are registered with the relevant authorities soon after they are born, enabling them to receive a birth certificate. Without such a certificate, it can be very difficult for a person to lay claim to a nationality or to exercise the rights associated with citizenship. Individuals who lack a birth certificate may, for example, find it impossible to leave or return to their own country, register as a voter or gain access to public health and education services..." Includes a para on the Rohingyas.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Statelessness and Citizenship (Chapter 6 of the 1997 "State of the World's Refugees")
    Date of publication: 1998
    Description/subject: Headings include: Nationality and Citizenship; New Dimensions of Statelessness; Human and Humanitarian Implications; The Link with Forced Displacement; National and International Responsibilities; Strengthening the Legal and Institutional Regime; The Role of UNHCR; Citizenship and Internaional Security. "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights unequivocally states that “everyone has the right to a nationality” and that “no-one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality.” But many thousands of people across the globe lack the security and protection which citizenship can provide. A substantial proportion of the world’s stateless people are also victims of forced displacement. In some instances, individuals and communities are deprived of their nationality by governmental decree and are subsequently expelled from the country which they consider to be their home. In other situations, stateless people are obliged to flee because of the persecution and discrimination which they experience. And having left the country where they have lived for most or all their lives, stateless people may subsequently find it impossible to return..." Contains references to the Rohingyas.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


  • Burmese and other stateless people in Burma, Bangladesh and India

    Individual Documents

    Title: Burning Homes, Sinking Lives - A situation report on violence against stateless Rohingya in Myanmar and their refoulement from Bangladesh
    Date of publication: 02 July 2012
    Description/subject: "...this report documents the severity of the human rights abuses suffered by Rohingya within Myanmar – including mass violence, killings and attacks, the burning and destruction of property, arbitrary arrests, detention and disappearances, the deprivation of emergency healthcare and humanitarian aid. Such human rights abuses are being carried out with impunity by civilians and agents of the state alike. The organised and widespread nature of this state sponsored violence raises serious questions of crimes against humanity being committed by Myanmar. This report also documents the refoulement of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh and related human rights violations, including the push-back of boats carrying Rohingya into dangerous waters and the failure to provide refuge, shelter and humanitarian aid to those fleeing persecution. Historically, the Rohingya have faced acute discrimination and human rights abuse in Myanmar, and Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution to Bangladesh have faced severe hardships including the lack of humanitarian aid, shelter and security. This present crisis is a tragic reminder of the vulnerabilities of stateless people when their countries of habitual residence and the international community fail to protect them. Urgent action is required to end the violence, protect the victims and bring those responsible to justice. Of equal importance is the need for a long-term process of reinstating Myanmar nationality to Rohingya who were arbitrarily deprived of a nationality in 1982, resolving ethnic conflicts and protecting the human rights and freedoms of Rohingya within Myanmar and in other countries. The Equal Rights Trust makes the following urgent and long-term recommendations to the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh and to the UNHCR and international community..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: The Equal Rights Trust
    Format/size: pdf (1.4MB-OBL version; 2.26MB-original)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.equalrightstrust.org/ertdocumentbank/The%20Equal%20Rights%20Trust%20-%20Burning%20Homes%...
    Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012


    Title: North Arakan: an open prison for the Rohingya in Burma
    Date of publication: April 2009
    Description/subject: "Many minorities, including the Rohingya of Burma, are persecuted by being rendered stateless...Hundreds of thousands have fled to Bangladesh and further afield to escape oppression or in order to survive. There were mass exoduses to Bangladesh in 1978 and again in 1991-92. Each time, international pressure persuaded Burma to accept them back and repatriation followed, often under coercion. But the outflow continues. The Rohingya are an ethnic, linguistic and religious minority group mainly concentrated in North Arakan (or ‘Rakhine’) State in Burma, adjacent to Bangladesh, where their number is estimated at 725,000. Of South Asian descent, they are related to the Chittagonian Bengalis just across the border in Bangladesh, whose language is also related. They profess Sunni Islam and are distinct from the majority Burmese population who are of East Asian stock and mostly Buddhists. Since Burma’s independence in 1948, the Rohingya have gradually been excluded from the process of nation-building..."
    Author/creator: Chris Lewa
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Forced Migration Review No. 32
    Format/size: pdf (486K)
    Date of entry/update: 20 February 2010


    Title: We have no soil under our feet
    Date of publication: April 2009
    Description/subject: "In the muddy setting of an overcrowded camp in Bangladesh, Jhora Shama tells me her story. Jhora is an unregistered refugee, a Rohingya, who has been living illegally in Bangladesh for 16 years. She fled to Bangladesh from Arakan [Rakhine] State in Burma after her family’s farm was ransacked, their livestock confiscated and her husband tortured. He now works in Malaysia and sends money to her but it is never enough and her family often goes to bed fighting hunger pains. Because she lives in Bangladesh illegally, she cannot work and must go out to beg for money. She hopes to find a family to take her children as housekeepers because there is no food here..."
    Author/creator: Kristy Crabtree
    Language: English, Français, Español, Russian, Arabic
    Source/publisher: Forced Migration Review No. 32
    Format/size: pdf (323K)
    Date of entry/update: 20 February 2010


    Title: ISSUES TO BE RAISED CONCERNING THE SITUATION OF STATELESS ROHINGYA WOMEN IN MYANMAR (BURMA)
    Date of publication: October 2008
    Description/subject: SUBMISSION TO THE COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN (CEDAW) For the Examination of the combined 2nd and 3rd periodic State party Reports (CEDAW/C/MMR/3) -MYANMAR-....."...Rohingya women and girls suffer from the devastating consequences of brutal government policies implemented against their minority group but also from socio-religious norms imposed on them by their community, the combined impact of which dramatically impinges on their physical and mental well-being, with long-term effects on their development. a) State-sponsored persecution: The 1982 Citizenship Law renders the Rohingya stateless, thereby supporting arbitrary and discriminatory measures against them. Their freedom of movement is severely limited; they are barred from government employment; marriage restrictions are imposed on them; they are disproportionately subject to forced labour, extortion and other coercive measures. Public services such as health and education are appallingly neglected. Illiteracy is estimated at 80%. The compounded impact of these human right violations also results in household impoverishment and food insecurity, increasing the vulnerability of women and children....Rohingya women and girls are also subject to serious gender-based restrictions due to societal attitudes and conservative interpretation of religious norms in their male-dominated community. The birth of a son is always favoured. Girls’ education is not valued and they are invariably taken out of school at puberty. Women and adolescent girls are usually confined to their homes and discouraged from participating in the economic sphere. They are systematically excluded from decision-making in community matters. Divorced women and widows are looked down upon, exposed to sexual violence and abandoned with little community support..."
    Author/creator: Chris Lewa
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: The Arakan Project
    Format/size: pdf (179K)
    Date of entry/update: 30 January 2009


    Title: Lives on Hold - The Human Costs of Statelessness
    Date of publication: February 2005
    Description/subject: "Lives on Hold: The Human Costs of Statelessness is Refugees International's new 50-page report that highlights the difficulties faced by an estimated 11 million individuals worldwide who have no citizenship or effective nationality. These stateless people are international orphans who have fallen through the cracks of the United Nations. They regularly cannot participate in the political process of any country and are guaranteed no legal protections. Because of their status, millions of stateless people have difficulty in obtaining jobs and owning property, receive inadequate access to healthcare and education, and suffer sexual and physical violence. The report documents the human costs of the problem in more than 70 countries with particular emphasis on groups in Bangladesh, Estonia and the United Arab Emirates, and provides recommendations to the international community on what must be done by the UN, individual states and donor governments like the United States."
    Author/creator: M. Lynch
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Refugees International
    Format/size: pdf (1.49MB)
    Date of entry/update: 16 February 2005


    Title: ISSUES TO BE RAISED CONCERNING THE SITUATION OF ROHINGYA CHILDREN IN MYANMAR (BURMA)
    Date of publication: November 2003
    Description/subject: SUBMISSION TO THE COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD For the Examination of the 2nd periodic State Party Report of Myanmar... Conclusion: "Rohingya children bear the full brunt of the military regime’s policies of exclusion and discrimination towards the Muslim population of Rakhine State. The combination of the factors listed above, which deny them fundamental human rights, gravely damage their childhood development and will affect the future of the Rohingya community. With regard to Rohingya children, the State Peace and Development Council has failed to implement most of the rights enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Myanmar ratified in 1991. The Government has also ignored the suggestions and recommendations provided by the Committee in 1997, in particular, paragraph 28 in which “The Committee recommends that the Citizenship Act be repealed” and paragraph 34 which stated: “In the field of the right to citizenship, the Committee is of the view that the State Party should, in light of articles 2 (non-discrimination) and 3 (best interests of the child), abolish the categorization of citizens …” and that “all possibility of stigmatisation and denial of rights recognized by the Convention should be avoided”"
    Author/creator: Chris Lewa
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Forum Asia
    Format/size: pdf (151.35 KB) html (280K) , Word (224K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.crin.org/docs/resources/treaties/crc.36/myanmar_ForumAsia_ngo_report.pdf
    http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/Lewa-CRC2004.doc
    Date of entry/update: 17 July 2010


    Title: Bangladesh-Myanmar Relations and the Stateless Rohingyas
    Date of publication: June 2001
    Description/subject: "I have lately been disturbed by two developments. Firstly, at the very moment when 'realism' has lost its post-Westphalian glories and is suffering from disrepute, the stateless people continue to be at the mercy of the state. In the case of the Rohingyas it is even more pathetic for their refuge across the border brought no change to their sufferings. On the contrary, as camped and non-camped refugees, they ended up becoming victims of yet another state power, this time of Bangladesh. Secondly, when the power of the state has been eroded considerably, particularly in the wake of misgovernance and globalization, the state is brought in to resolve the issue of statelessness. Indeed, the Rohingyas were sent home, amidst criticism of 'involuntary' repatriation, with the hope that the government of Myanmar (GOM) after over half-a-century would change its position and make them all worthy citizens of Myanmar. What we have is a representation of a dialectic in the constitution of the state, that is, state as usurper and state as salvation, without of course realizing that the former cancels the latter and vice versa. It is against this background that I intend to discuss the Bangladesh-Myanmar relations and that again, from the standpoint of the stateless Rohingyas. Two questions, I believe, are pertinent. One, how do stateless people view the state/s? And two, what impact does the stateless people have on the state-to-state relationship? Few will dispute that the discussion requires a sound understanding of the 'stateless,' which in our case are the Rohingyas..."
    Author/creator: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Language: English
    Format/size: html (26K)
    Date of entry/update: 10 July 2003


    Title: The Rohingya: Forced Migration and Statelessness
    Date of publication: 28 February 2001
    Description/subject: "Forced Migration in the South Asian Region: Displacement, Human Rights and Conflict Resolution" Paper submitted for publication in a book edited by Omprakash Mishra on "Forced Migration in South Asian Region", Centre for Refugee studies Jadavpur University, Calcutta and Brookings Institution Project on Internal Displacement. "In the eyes of the media and the general public, whether in Bangladesh or further afield, the situation of the Rohingya from Burma[ii] is usually referred to as a ?refugee problem?. Over the last two decades, Bangladesh has born the brunt of two mass exoduses, each of more then 200,000 people, placing them among the largest in Asia. Each of these massive outflows of refugees was followed by mass repatriation to Burma. Repatriation has been considered the preferred solution to the refugee crisis. However, this has not proved a durable solution, since the influx of Rohingyas over international borders has never ceased. And it is unlikely that it will stop, so long as the root causes of this unprecedented exodus are not effectively remedied. The international community has often focussed its attention on the deplorable conditions in the refugee camps in Bangladesh, rather than on the root causes of the problem, namely the denial of legal status and other basic human rights to the Rohingya in Burma. This approach doubtless stems from the practical difficulty of confronting an intractable military regime which refuses to recognise the Rohingya as citizens of Burma, and of working out solutions acceptable to all parties involved. The actual plight and continuous exodus of the Rohingya people has been rendered invisible. Though they continue to cross international borders, they are also denied the right of asylum, being labelled ?economic migrants?. The international community has preferred to ignore the extent of this massive forced migration, which has affected not only Bangladesh, but also other countries such as Pakistan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, etc..."
    Author/creator: Chris Lewa
    Language: English
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Stateless and unregistered children
    Date of publication: 1998
    Description/subject: Box 6.4 of the chapter on Statelessness and Citizenship from the 1997 "The State of the World's Refugees". "In most countries, babies are registered with the relevant authorities soon after they are born, enabling them to receive a birth certificate. Without such a certificate, it can be very difficult for a person to lay claim to a nationality or to exercise the rights associated with citizenship. Individuals who lack a birth certificate may, for example, find it impossible to leave or return to their own country, register as a voter or gain access to public health and education services..." Includes a para on the Rohingyas.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


  • Burmese and other stateless people in Thailand and Malaysia

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: The Human Rights Sub-Committee on Ethnic Minority, Migrant Workers, Stateless and Displaced Persons
    Description/subject: Articles and reports, most in Thai, but some in English.
    Language: Thai, English
    Source/publisher: Law Society of Thailand
    Format/size: html
    Alternate URLs: http://www.statelessperson.com/www/?q=node/6458
    Date of entry/update: 14 May 2005


    Individual Documents

    Title: Here, We Are Walking on a Clothesline: Statelessness and Human (In)Security Among Burmese Women Political Exiles Living in Thailand
    Date of publication: 2012
    Description/subject: Abstract: "An estimated twelve million people worldwide are stateless, or living without the legal bond of citizenship or nationality with any state, and consequently face barriers to employment, property ownership, education, health care, customary legal rights, and national and international protection. More than one-quarter of the world’s stateless people live in Thailand. This feminist ethnography explores the impact of statelessness on the everyday lives of Burmese women political exiles living in Thailand through the paradigm of human security and its six indicators: food, economic, personal, political, health, and community security. The research reveals that exclusion from national and international legal protections creates pervasive and profound political and personal insecurity due to violence and harassment from state and non-state actors. Strong networks, however, between exiled activists and their organizations provide community security, through which stateless women may access various levels of food, economic, and health security. Using the human security paradigm as a metric, this research identifies acute barriers to Burmese stateless women exiles’ experiences and expectations of well-being, therefore illustrating the potential of human security as a measurement by which conflict resolution scholars and practitioners may describe and evaluate their work in the context of positive peace."
    Author/creator: Elizabeth Hooker
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Portland University (MS thesis)
    Format/size: pdf (588K)
    Alternate URLs: http://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/open_access_etds?utm_source=pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu%2Fopen_acc...
    Date of entry/update: 28 October 2013


    Title: Trapped in a Cycle of Flight: Stateless Rohingya in Malaysia
    Date of publication: 04 January 2010
    Description/subject: "This report is one of the outputs of a global research and advocacy project of the Equal Rights Trust (ERT) on stateless persons in detention. It draws attention to the plight of Rohingya who have successfully made the hazardous journey to Malaysia – a present focus, and ‘hotspot’, for Rohingya migration. It focuses on detention practices in Malaysia and the cycle of deportation and trafficking, which must be broken. The report documents the ways in which immigration related laws, practices and policies of Malaysia are discriminatory and detrimental to the rights and well-being of all irregular migrants in the country. The Rohingya are merely one – albeit particularly vulnerable – group amongst many others. By focussing on the Rohingya in Malaysia, this report raises grave human rights concerns about the treatment of all irregular migrants in the country. It also establishes the need for a robust, holistic and regional solution to the problems faced by the Rohingya, which is embedded in human rights principles."
    Author/creator: Chris Lewa, Amal de Chickera
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Equal Rights Trust
    Format/size: pdf (938K)
    Date of entry/update: 20 February 2010


    Title: 2009 Annual Report : A Situation of Personality Status and the Rights of Stateless Persons/ Persons without Nationality [in Thailand]
    Date of publication: January 2010
    Description/subject: "...stateless persons are divided into six groups under the strategy and they are supposed to be covered by the survey and assigned with the ID numbers begun with “0”. They include Group 1 those migrants in Thailand who have not been surveyed yet, but are related to those who have been registered as belonging to minority groups, 150,113 of them; Group 2 students in educational institutes, 66,937 of them; Group 3 rootless persons, 3,553 of them; Group 4those who have made great contribution to the nation, 23 of them; Group 5 migrant workers and Group 6 other aliens who have not been surveyed (As of 22 December 2009, Bureau of Registration Administration, Ministry of Interior)..."
    Author/creator: Darunee Paisanpanichkul, Pinkeao Unkeao, Kornkanok Wattanabhoom
    Language: English, Thai
    Source/publisher: Stateless Watch for Research and Development Institute of Thailand- SWIT
    Format/size: pdf (English, 264K; Thai, 570K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/SWITAnnualReport2009(th).pdf
    Date of entry/update: 24 February 2010


    Title: Lives on Hold - The Human Costs of Statelessness
    Date of publication: February 2005
    Description/subject: "Lives on Hold: The Human Costs of Statelessness is Refugees International's new 50-page report that highlights the difficulties faced by an estimated 11 million individuals worldwide who have no citizenship or effective nationality. These stateless people are international orphans who have fallen through the cracks of the United Nations. They regularly cannot participate in the political process of any country and are guaranteed no legal protections. Because of their status, millions of stateless people have difficulty in obtaining jobs and owning property, receive inadequate access to healthcare and education, and suffer sexual and physical violence. The report documents the human costs of the problem in more than 70 countries with particular emphasis on groups in Bangladesh, Estonia and the United Arab Emirates, and provides recommendations to the international community on what must be done by the UN, individual states and donor governments like the United States."
    Author/creator: M. Lynch
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Refugees International
    Format/size: pdf (1.49MB)
    Date of entry/update: 16 February 2005


    Title: Searching for a State
    Date of publication: July 2002
    Description/subject: An award-winning series by "Bangkok Post" writer Sanitsuda Ekachai, June-July 2002... "Searching for a State" has won the inaugural IFJ Journalism for Tolerance Prize; Searching for a state - Introduction; Searching for a state; Where things stand now; What is the state policy? Fighting for a future; Stymied by corruption; Turmoil behind tranquil appearance; Villagers ask for understanding; Moving is a downer; Keeping the hill people down; Even citizens are pushed off.
    Author/creator: Sanitsuda Ekachai
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Bangkok Post"
    Format/size: html
    Alternate URLs: http://www.statelessperson.com/www/?q=node/89 (Introduction)
    http://www.statelessperson.com/www/?q=node/700
    Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


    Title: Breaking Through the Clouds: A Participatory Action Research (PAR) Project with Migrant Children and Youth Along the Borders of China, Myanmar and Thailand
    Date of publication: May 2001
    Description/subject: 1. Introduction; 1.1. Background; 1.2. Project Profile; 1.3. Project Objectives; 2. The Participatory Action Research (PAR) Process; 2.1. Methods of Working with Migrant Children and Youth; 2.2. Implementation Strategy; 2.3. Ethical Considerations; 2.4. Research Team; 2.5. Sites and Participants; 2.6. Establishing Research Guidelines; 2.7. Data Collection Tools; 2.8. Documentation; 2.9. Translation; 2.10Country and Regional Workshops; 2.11Analysis, Methods of Reporting Findings and Dissemination Strategy; 2.12. Obstacles and Limitations; 3. PAR Interventions; 3.1. Strengthening Social Structures; 3.2. Awareness Raising; 3.3. Capacity Building; 3.4. Life Skills Development; 3.5. Outreach Services; 3.6. Networking and Advocacy; 4. The Participatory Review; 4.1. Aims of the Review; 4.2. Review Guidelines; 4.3. Review Approach and Tools; 4.4. Summary of Review Outcomes; 4.4.1. Myanmar; 4.4.2. Thailand; 4.4.3. China; 5. Conclusion and Recommendations; 6. Bibliography of Resources.
    Author/creator: Therese Caouette et al
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Save the Children (UK)
    Format/size: pdf (191K) 75 pages
    Date of entry/update: May 2003


    Title: Small Dreams Beyond Reach: The Lives of Migrant Children and Youth Along the Borders of China, Myanmar and Thailand
    Date of publication: 2001
    Description/subject: A Participatory Action Research Project of Save the Children(UK)... 1. Introduction; 2. Background; 2.1. Population; 2.2. Geography; 2.3. Political Dimensions; 2.4. Economic Dimensions; 2.5. Social Dimensions; 2.6. Vulnerability of Children and Youth; 3. Research Design; 3.1. Project Objectives; 3.2. Ethical Considerations; 3.3. Research Team; 3.4. Research Sites and Participants; 3.5. Data Collection Tools; 3.6. Data Analysis Strategy; 3.7. Obstacles and Limitations; 4. Preliminary Research Findings; 4.1. The Migrants; 4.2. Reasons for migrating; 4.3. Channels of Migration; 4.4. Occupations; 4.5. Working and Living Conditions; 4.6. Health; 4.7. Education; 4.8. Drugs; 4.9. Child Labour; 4.10. Trafficking of Persons; 4.11. Vulnerabilities of Children; 4.12. Return and Reintegration; 4.13. Community Responses; 5. Conclusion and Recommendations... Recommendations to empower migrant children and youth in the Mekong sub-region... "This report provides an awareness of the realities and perspectives among migrant children, youth and their communities, as a means of building respect and partnerships to address their vulnerabilities to exploitation and abusive environments. The needs and concerns of migrants along the borders of China, Myanmar and Thailand are highlighted and recommendations to address these are made. The main findings of the participatory action research include: * those most impacted by migration are the peoples along the mountainous border areas between China, Myanmar and Thailand, who represent a variety of ethnic groups * both the countries of origin and countries of destination find that those migrating are largely young people and often include children * there is little awareness as to young migrants' concerns and needs, with extremely few interventions undertaken to reach out to them * the majority of the cross-border migrants were young, came from rural areas and had little or no formal education * the decision to migrate is complex and usually involves numerous overlapping factors * migrants travelled a number of routes that changed frequently according to their political and economic situations. The vast majority are identified as illegal immigrants * generally, migrants leave their homes not knowing for certain what kind of job they will actually find abroad. The actual jobs available to migrants were very gender specific * though the living and working conditions of cross-border migrants vary according to the place, job and employer, nearly all the participants noted their vulnerability to exploitation and abuse without protection or redress * for all illnesses, most of the participants explained that it was difficult to access public health services due to distance, cost and/or their illegal status * along all the borders, most of the children did not attend school and among those who did only a very few had finished primary level education * drug production, trafficking and addiction were critical issues identified by the communities at all of the research sites along the borders * child labour was found in all three countries * trafficking of persons, predominantly children and youth, was common at all the study sites * orphaned children along the border areas were found to be the most vulnerable * Migrants frequently considered their options and opportunities to return home Based on the project’s findings, recommendations are made at the conclusion of this report to address the critical issues faced by migrant children and youth along the borders. These recommendations include: methods of working with migrant youth, effective interventions, strategies for advocacy, identification of vulnerable populations and critical issues requiring further research. The following interventions were identified as most effective in empowering migrant children and youth in the Mekong sub-region: life skills training and literacy education, strengthening protection efforts, securing channels for safe return and providing support for reintegration to home countries. These efforts need to be initiated in tandem with advocacy efforts to influence policies and practices that will better protect and serve migrant children and youth."
    Author/creator: Therese M. Caouette
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Save the Children (UK)
    Format/size: pdf (343K) 145 pages
    Alternate URLs: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/54_5205.htm
    http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/docs/small_dreams.pdf
    Date of entry/update: May 2003


    Title: Malaysia/Burma: Living in Limbo
    Date of publication: July 2000
    Description/subject: Burmese Rohingyas in Malaysia. Contains a good discussion of the Rohingyas' de facto statelessness under the 1982 Citizenship Law as well as background material on the Rohingyas' situation in Burma.."Burmese authorities bear responsibility for the Rohingya's flight. Burma's treatment of the Rohingya is addressed in the background section of the report, and the report offers specific recommendations to the Burmese government. The focus of this report, however, is on what happens to Rohingya when they reach Malaysia. There, they are not treated as refugees fleeing persecution who should be afforded protection, but as aliens subject to detention or deportation in violation of Malaysia's international human rights obligations..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: No Home, No Future
    Date of publication: June 1997
    Description/subject: As many illegal immigrants wish to live in Thailand permanently, another serious problem arises - the growing number of stateless children. Between 1993 and 1996, the Mae Sot Hospital near the Thailand-Burma border delivered 2,202, 2,026, 2,031 and 2,077 stateless babies respectively.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 5. No. 3
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: The International Observatory on Statelessness
    Description/subject: The International Observatory on Statelessness is managed by a team based in London, Nairobi, Bangkok and Washington, D.C. and is guided by an advisory board of international experts..... The International Observatory on Statelessness was created in March 2007 as a collaborative project between Oxford Brookes University and the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford to: * collate national data on patterns, types and conditions of statelessness to further knowledge; *promote research on patterns and causes of statelessness by means of gathering data on the state of nationality and citizenship legislation, systems of protection, and factors that contribute to the problem of statelessness; *act as a clearinghouse for NGOs, academics, advocacy groups and policy-makers working on issues of statelessness.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: IOS
    Alternate URLs: http://www.nationalityforall.org/burma-myanmar
    http://www.nationalityforall.org/thailand
    Date of entry/update: 23 December 2010


  • Birth registration
    Lack of birth registration is a major cause of statelessness and makes people, especially children, vulnerable to trafficking.

    • Birth registration in Thailand
      This sub-section contains documents on the developing Thai policies towards registration at birth of children of migrants, refugees and hill tribe communities.

      • Articles and reports relating to birth registration in Thailand from inter-governmental, non-governmental and media sources

        Individual Documents

        Title: No Country to Call Their Own
        Date of publication: August 2009
        Description/subject: "Stateless Burmese children in Thailand are still being denied basic rights such as access to education and health services, and they are vulnerable to many kinds of exploitation and abuse, according to migrant rights advocates. It's estimated that there are about 1 million stateless children in Thailand, with about two-thirds thought to be children of Burmese migrant workers who come in search of a better life. In 2008, the Thai government amended the country's law on civil registration to allow all children born in Thailand, regardless of the legal status of their parents, to receive birth certificates. The change has been greeted by many in the international aid community as an important step forward. "Efforts are underway to ensure that the system is accessible and well known to parents, including stateless parents, local officials and communities," said Amanda Bissex, chief of the Child Protection Section of UNICEF Thailand. Under the revised law, the Thai government, which ratified the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), has instructed all state hospitals to issue birth registration documents to any baby born to any parents, regardless of their background. However, rights advocates say that in practice, hospitals often fail to issue birth certificates to the children of migrants. This is partly due to the fact that many parents simply don't ask for these documents because they don't realize how important they are for their children's futures..."
        Author/creator: Thawdar
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 5
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 26 December 2009


        Title: Citizenship Manual - Capacity-Building on Birth Registration and Citizenship in Thailand (English)
        Date of publication: 2008
        Description/subject: THIS MANUAL IS BEING UPDATED FOLLOWING CHANGES IN THAI LEGISLATION AND POLICY... Table of Contents: Basic Knowledge: • Basic Information about Ethnic Groups in Thailand Chapter; Birth Registration for People Born in Thailand • The Birth Registration Process in Thailand; • Retroactive Birth Registration; • Birth Registration Forms... Management of the Personal Legal Status of Ethnic Groups in Thailand: • Adding Names to Household Registration (Tor Ror 13) 29; • Legal Assistance for Highlanders of Thai Nationality; • Legal Assistance for Alien Migrants; • Legal Assistance for Highlanders Born in Thailand but Ineligible for Thai Nationality Due to Immigrant Parents... Surveying and Issuing Identification Cards for People without Thai Nationality (Pink-Colour Card)... Surveying, Issuing Identification Cards, and Registering Undocumented Persons... Basic Rights of Ethnic Groups in Thailand: • The Right to Movement; • The Right to Start a Family (Marriage Registration); • The Right to Education; • The Right to Work... • Annex 1: Civil Registration Act (No. 2) 2008 (B.E. 2551) ... • Annex 2: Nationality Act (No. 4) 2008 (B.E. 2551)... • Annex 3: Official Letters on Residence Relocation (MoI) ... • Annex 4: Strategy on Legal Status and Rights Management
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: UNESCO
        Format/size: pdf (6.9MB)
        Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


        Title: Citizenship Manual - Capacity-Building on Birth Registration and Citizenship in Thailand (Thai)
        Date of publication: 2008
        Description/subject: THIS MANUAL IS BEING UPDATED FOLLOWING CHANGES IN THAI LEGISLATION AND POLICY... Table of Contents: Basic Knowledge: • Basic Information about Ethnic Groups in Thailand Chapter; Birth Registration for People Born in Thailand • The Birth Registration Process in Thailand; • Retroactive Birth Registration; • Birth Registration Forms... Management of the Personal Legal Status of Ethnic Groups in Thailand: • Adding Names to Household Registration (Tor Ror 13) 29; • Legal Assistance for Highlanders of Thai Nationality; • Legal Assistance for Alien Migrants; • Legal Assistance for Highlanders Born in Thailand but Ineligible for Thai Nationality Due to Immigrant Parents... Surveying and Issuing Identification Cards for People without Thai Nationality (Pink-Colour Card)... Surveying, Issuing Identification Cards, and Registering Undocumented Persons... Basic Rights of Ethnic Groups in Thailand: • The Right to Movement; • The Right to Start a Family (Marriage Registration); • The Right to Education; • The Right to Work... • Annex 1: Civil Registration Act (No. 2) 2008 (B.E. 2551) ... • Annex 2: Nationality Act (No. 4) 2008 (B.E. 2551)... • Annex 3: Official Letters on Residence Relocation (MoI) ... • Annex 4: Strategy on Legal Status and Rights Management
        Language: Thai
        Source/publisher: UNESCO
        Format/size: pdf (1.9MB)
        Date of entry/update: 14 October 2009


        Title: Committee on the Rights of the Child, Thailand 2006. Examination of Thailand's 2nd report: Summary Record (1)
        Date of publication: 30 January 2006
        Description/subject: COMITÉ DES DROITS DE L’ENFANT Quarante et unième session COMPTE RENDU ANALYTIQUE DE LA 1113e SÉANCE... Deuxième rapport périodique de la Thaïlande... FRENCH ONLY.
        Language: Francais, French
        Source/publisher: United Nations (CRC/C/SR.1113)
        Format/size: pdf (121K)
        Date of entry/update: 20 February 2006


        Title: Committee on the Rights of the Child, Thailand 2006. Examination of Thailand's 2nd report: Summary Record (2)
        Date of publication: 30 January 2006
        Description/subject: COMITÉ DES DROITS DE L’ENFANT Quarante et unième session COMPTE RENDU ANALYTIQUE DE LA 1115e SÉANCE... Deuxième rapport périodique de la Thaïlande... FRENCH ONLY.
        Language: Francais, French
        Source/publisher: United Nations (CRC/C/SR.1115)
        Format/size: pdf (116K)
        Date of entry/update: 20 February 2006


        Title: Committee on the Rights of the Child, Thailand 2006 -- Concluding Observations
        Date of publication: 27 January 2006
        Description/subject: These concluding observations contain a number of comments and recommendations on refugee and other migrant children in Thailand, including the question of birth registration, the situation of domestic migrant workers etc.
        Language: English, French, Spanish
        Source/publisher: United Nations
        Format/size: pdf (96K - English; 176K - Spanish; 186K - French)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/%28Symbol%29/CRC.C.THA.CO.2.En?Opendocument
        http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/898586b1dc7b4043c1256a450044f331/88a0d5457061da2fc125715e0048d5f9/$FILE/G0640937.pdf (French)
        http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/898586b1dc7b4043c1256a450044f331/1fb69816b0194a92c125715e0048d66d/$FILE/G0640939.pdf (Spanish)
        Date of entry/update: 17 November 2010


        Title: Oral statement to the Human Rights Committee regarding Article 24 of the ICCPR
        Date of publication: 18 July 2005
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Burma Peace Foundation
        Format/size: pdf (67K)
        Date of entry/update: 01 March 2009


        Title: Selected documents on low levels of birth registration for certain groups in Thailand -- Submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child regarding Articles 7 and 22 of the CRC.
        Date of publication: April 2005
        Description/subject: CONTENTS: A. Background: Birth registration and the Hill Tribes, Burmese migrants and trafficking... 1) Vulnerability of children lacking birth registration in Thailand; 2) Birth registration of hill tribe communities in Thailand ; 3) Extracts on Thailand from "Lives on Hold: The Human Cost of Statelessness”; 4) Extracts from “No Status: Migration, Trafficking & Exploitation of Women in Thailand”; 5) Extracts from an NGO document on Burmese migrants; 6) An article from the Bangkok Post on birth registration; 7) UN and NGO letter on birth registration and trafficking to the Minister of Foreign Affairs... Thai Government Proposals: 1) Stateless People: Govt. to revamp processing of nationality applications; 2) Registering babies is just a start in life... B. Analysis: Birth Registration of Migrant Children Born in Thailand... C. Suggestions for the List of Issues... Annexes: A) Relevant Thai legislation (links to selected texts): 1) Thailand’s Nationality Act; 2) The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand; 3) Immigration Act of 1979; 4) Links to other Thai legislation... B) Thailand’s initial report to the Human Rights Committee - The section on Article 24 (paras 612-623)... C) The Committee on the Rights of the Child: its concerns about birth registration in Thailand: 1) Thailand’s reservation on Article 7; 2) The CRC on the reservation; 3) Discussion of the reservation in Thailand’s 2nd report to the CRC.
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Burma Peace Foundation
        Format/size: pdf (320K)
        Date of entry/update: 21 August 2006


        Title: Submission to the Human Rights Committee regarding Article 24 of the ICCPR - Selected documents on low levels of birth registration for certain groups in Thailand
        Date of publication: March 2005
        Description/subject: "This preliminary collection of documents is submitted to the Human Rights Committee in advance of its examination of Thailand’s initial report, to raise the issue of the groups in Thailand whose children, in violation of Article 24 of the Covenant, tend not to be registered at birth, and are thus exposed to statelessness and many forms of difficulties and abuse... CONTENTS: A. Background: Birth registration and the Hill Tribes, Burmese migrants and trafficking; 1) Vulnerability of children lacking birth registration in Thailand; 2) Birth registration of hill tribe communities in Thailand ; 3) Extracts on Thailand from "Lives on Hold: The Human Cost of Statelessness”; 4) Extracts from “No Status: Migration, Trafficking & Exploitation of Women in Thailand”; 5) Extracts from an NGO document on Burmese migrants; 6) An article from the Bangkok Post on birth registration; 7) UN and NGO letter on birth registration and trafficking to the Minister of Foreign Affairs... Thai Government Proposals: 1) Stateless People: Govt. to revamp processing of nationality applications; 2) Registering babies is just a start in life... B. Analysis: Birth Registration of Migrant Children Born in Thailand... C. Suggested orientation of the question(s) for the List of Issues... Annexes: A) Relevant Thai legislation (links to selected texts); 1) Thailand’s Nationality Act; 2) The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand; 3) Immigration Act of 1979; 4) Links to other Thai legislation... B) Thailand’s initial report to the Human Rights Committee -- The section on Article 24 (paras 612-623)... C) The Committee on the Rights of the Child: its concerns about birth registration in Thailand; 1) Thailand’s reservation on Article 7; 2) The CRC on the reservation; 3) Discussion of the reservation in Thailand’s 2nd report to the CRC.
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Burma Peace Foundation
        Format/size: pdf (321K)
        Date of entry/update: 21 August 2006


        Title: Registering babies is just a start in life
        Date of publication: 30 July 2004
        Description/subject: "Stateless people can look forward to some light at the end of the tunnel following Deputy Prime Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng's proposal that their children be issued with birth certificates. This step would help secure basic rights, on health and education, for hundreds of thousands of babies languishing in limbo in the border provinces because their existence has not been acknowledged by the state. It also would help Thailand fulfil its commitment as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which calls for every child to be registered ''immediately after birth..."
        Author/creator: Editorial
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Bangkok Post
        Format/size: pdf (78K)
        Date of entry/update: 01 March 2009


        Title: BIRTH REGISTRATION Concern over kin of illegal Burmese -- Govt unable to verify number of newborns
        Date of publication: 10 January 2003
        Description/subject: The government has lost track of the number of newborn babies in the country as illegal foreign labourers do not register births with authorities, an Interior Ministry official said yesterday at the end of a conference co-organised by the UN Children's Fund.
        Author/creator: Saritdet Marukatat
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Bangkok Post
        Format/size: pdf (19K)
        Date of entry/update: 01 March 2009


        Title: You don't exist' Children of illegal immigrants are robbed of their basic rights because the authorities refuse to recognise their existence
        Date of publication: 23 October 2002
        Author/creator: Santisuda Ekachai
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Bangkok Post
        Format/size: pdf (128K)
        Date of entry/update: 01 March 2009


        Title: Concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on Thailand's 1st report
        Date of publication: 26 October 1998
        Language: English, French, Francais, Espanol, Spanish
        Source/publisher: United Nations (CRC/C/15/Add.97)
        Format/size: html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/CRC.C.15.Add.97.Fr?Opendocument (Francais)
        http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/CRC.C.15.Add.97.Sp?Opendocument
        (Espanol)
        Date of entry/update: 10 August 2004


      • Thai legislation and other official documents relating to birth registration in Thailand

        Individual Documents

        Title: Thailand: Directive on birth registration of 17 February 2009 (Thai)
        Date of publication: 17 February 2009
        Description/subject: This document updates the MOI Directive of 23 August 2008
        Language: Thai
        Source/publisher: Thai Ministry of the Interior (MOI)
        Format/size: pdf (1.4MB)
        Date of entry/update: 01 March 2009


        Title: Thailand: Directive on birth registration of 17 February 2009 (Burmese)
        Date of publication: 17 January 2009
        Description/subject: This document updates the MOI Directive of 23 August 2008
        Language: Burmese
        Source/publisher: Thai Ministry of the Interior (MOI)
        Format/size: pdf (118K)
        Date of entry/update: 18 September 2009


        Title: Directive on the application of birth certificate of 23 August 2008 (Thai)
        Date of publication: 23 August 2008
        Description/subject: Replaced by MOI Directive of 17 January 2009
        Language: Thai
        Source/publisher: Thai Ministry of the Interior (MOI)
        Format/size: pdf (511K)
        Date of entry/update: 01 March 2009


        Title: Thailand's Nationality Act (No.4) 2008 (B.E. 2551)
        Date of publication: 19 February 2008
        Description/subject: Given on the 19th day of February 2008 (B.E. 2551) Being the 63rd Year of the Present Reign
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Govt. of Thailand
        Format/size: pdf (79K)
        Date of entry/update: 01 March 2009


        Title: Thailand's Civil Registration Act (No.2) B.E. 2551
        Date of publication: 15 February 2008
        Description/subject: Given on the 15th Being the 63th Year of the Present Reign
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Govt. of Thailand
        Format/size: pdf (32K)
        Date of entry/update: 01 March 2009


        Title: Thailand's Civil Registration Act (No.2) B.E. 2551
        Date of publication: 15 February 2008
        Language: Thai
        Source/publisher: Govt., of Thailand
        Format/size: pdf (170K)
        Date of entry/update: 01 March 2009


        Title: Additional Page for the Manual on Birth Registration
        Date of publication: 2008
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Govt of Thailand
        Format/size: pdf (13K)
        Date of entry/update: 01 March 2009


        Title: Committee on the Rights of the Child: Thailand 2006: Written replies to the list of issues from Thailand
        Date of publication: 29 December 2005
        Description/subject: WRITTEN REPLIES BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THAILAND CONCERNING THE LIST OF ISSUES (CRC/C/THA/Q/2) RECEIVED BY THE COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD RELATING TO THE CONSIDERATION OF THE SECOND PERIODIC REPORT OF THAILAND (CRC/C/83/Add.15)*
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: United Nations
        Format/size: pdf
        Date of entry/update: 28 January 2006


        Title: Letter from the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning birth registration and trafficking
        Date of publication: 29 August 2005
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs
        Format/size: pdf (24K)
        Date of entry/update: 01 March 2009


        Title: Thailand's initial report to the Human Rights Committee
        Date of publication: 24 June 2004
        Description/subject: "Thailand has prepared this report to implement Art.40 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966. It deals with the legislative, administrative and judicial process that serve to efficiently implement various provisions of the Covenant and shall be in accordance to the spirit of the Covenant. This report should be read together with the core document of Thailand which already narrates the general conditions of Thailand on geographical, economical, political, governmental aspects, including the legal system and judicial process in detail..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: United Nations (CCPR/C/THA/2004/1)
        Format/size: pdf (491K)
        Date of entry/update: 18 August 2004


        Title: Thailand’s Second State Party Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child
        Date of publication: 07 June 2004
        Description/subject: Thailand’s Second Report On The Implementation of the Convention On the Rights of the Child Submitted to The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child... by The Sub-committee on the Rights of the Child; The National Youth Commission; The Office of Welfare Promotion, Protection and Empowerment of Vulnerable Groups; Ministry of Social Development and Human Security... Contents: Introduction; 1. General Measures of Implementation; 2. Definition of the Child; 3. General Principles; 4. Civil Rights and Freedoms; 5. Family Environment and Alternative Care; 6. Basic Health and Welfare; 7. Education, Leisure and Cultural Activities; 8. Special Protection Measures.
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: United Nations (CRC/C/83/Add.15)
        Format/size: pdf (923K), Word (884K)
        Date of entry/update: 10 August 2004


        Title: Thailand's Child Protection Act of 2003 (Burmese)
        Date of publication: 24 September 2003
        Description/subject: Unofficial translation (by UNICEF)
        Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
        Source/publisher: Government of Thailand
        Format/size: pdf (112K)
        Date of entry/update: 16 January 2013


        Title: Thailand's Child Protection Act of 2003 (English)
        Date of publication: 24 September 2003
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Government of Thailand
        Format/size: pdf (172K)
        Date of entry/update: 18 September 2009


        Title: Thailand's Child Protection Act of 2003 (Thai)
        Date of publication: 24 September 2003
        Language: Thai
        Source/publisher: Government of Thailand
        Format/size: pdf (228K)
        Date of entry/update: 18 September 2009