Statelessness and Citizenship

Statelessness and Citizenship

A Comparative Study on the Benefits of Nationality

Edited by Brad K. Blitz and Maureen Lynch

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that there are more than 12 million stateless people in the world. The existence of stateless populations challenges some central tenets of international law and contemporary human rights discourses, yet only a very small number of states have made measurable progress in helping individuals acquire or regain citizenship. This fascinating study examines positive developments in eight countries and pinpoints the benefits of citizenship now enjoyed by formerly stateless persons.

Chapter 3: Citizenship in Kenya: The Nubian Case

Abraham Korir Sing’Oei

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, politics and public policy, human rights


Abraham Korir Sing’Oei Source: © UNHCR/Greg Constantine 2010. Figure 3.1 Unemployed Nubian youth collect garbage to help clean up the Nubian sections of Kibera and earn extra money. Nubian youth must go through a vetting process and continue to have difficulties obtaining Kenyan national ID cards. To assess the benefits of citizenship to former stateless persons and communities in Kenya, this chapter addresses two interrelated questions. First, does the conferment of juridical citizenship make any difference to the human rights situation of individuals and groups in Kenya? To respond to this question, an analysis of citizenship from a historical, legal and policy context is undertaken. Second, how has the granting of 45 M2482 - BLITZ PRINT.indd 45 21/12/2010 11:56 46 Statelessness and citizenship juridical citizenship impacted a former stateless community? The case of the Nubian community in Kenya will be evaluated. This chapter draws on analysis of legal and non-legal material in the field of migration, international law and human rights, specifically on the topic of citizenship and its related dimensions, statelessness and the rights of non-nationals. Media reports, which constitute important sources of information, reports by treaty bodies and the observations or conclusions of these institutions are also reviewed. This chapter makes use of information obtained from focus group discussions and selected unstructured interviews carried out by the author in 2008 and 2009. The aim of this approach was to ensure, in the light of resource constraints, that the largest possible number of representatives of all the interest groups...

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