Sunday, 5 November 2017

Protracted Marginalisation Of Minorities Breeds Resentment - A UNHCR Report Reveals

A new UNHCR report has revealed that ignoring minorities’ problems of discrimination, exclusion and persecution can build resentment, increase fear and, in the most extreme cases, lead to instability, insecurity and displacement.

The report dubbed “This is our home”: Stateless minorities and their search for citizenship”, notes that more than 75% of the world’s known stateless populations belong to minority groups and calls for immediate action to secure equal nationality rights for all.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, “Stateless people are just seeking the same basic rights that all citizens enjoy. But stateless minorities, like the Rohingya, often suffer from entrenched discrimination and a systematic denial of their rights,” .
Protracted Marginalisation Of Minorities Breeds Resentment - A UNHCR Report Reveals
“In recent years, important steps have been taken to address statelessness worldwide. However new challenges, like growing forced displacement and arbitrary deprivation of nationality, threaten this progress. States must act now and they must act decisively to end statelessness,” Grandi added.

Drawing on discussions with more than 120 individuals, the report shows that, for many minority groups, the cause of statelessness is difference itself: their histories, their looks, their language, their faith. At the same time, statelessness often exacerbates the exclusion that minority groups face, profoundly affecting all aspects of their life – from freedom of movement to development opportunities, and from access to services to the right to vote.

The testimonies in the report show how discrimination negatively impacts stateless minorities’ communities and intensifies their anxiety for their physical safety and security. It also contributes to poverty and complicates their ability to access documentation, education and health care.

In the bid to ensure equal nationality rights for stateless minorities, UNHCR’s #IBelong Campaign exhorts all states to facilitate the naturalization or confirmation of nationality for stateless minority groups resident on the territory, allow children to gain the nationality of the country in which they were born if they would otherwise be stateless, eliminate laws and practices that deny or deprive persons of nationality on the basis of discriminatory grounds such as race, ethnicity, religion, or linguistic minority status, ensure universal birth registration to prevent statelessness and eliminate procedural and practical obstacles to the issuance of nationality documentation to those entitled to it under law.

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