The Loss of a Great Human Rights Activist

By Melanie Teff

Sonia Pierre was 13 years old when she was first arrested and threatened with deportation, for organizing a protest for the rights of sugar cane workers. She continued her struggle for the rights of marginalized people in the Dominican Republic (DR) right up until her sad and untimely death yesterday from a heart attack, at age 48.

Statelessness and Nationality in the Dominican Republic

By Sarnata Reynolds

Wednesday’s conference on statelessness and the right to nationality in the Dominican Republic (DR) saw presenters from many countries and fields of work join in a constructive dialogue.

This example of statelessness, caused by the retroactive loss of nationality rights for Dominicans of Haitian descent in the DR’s new constitution, has been a major source of civil strife. It has left many without access to their rights, and has shaken their most basic sense of who they are and where they belong.

Bringing Stateless "Out of the Shadows"

By Michael Boyce

Today, leaders from government, civil society, and the UN gathered at the US Institute of Peace to explore statelessness and its impact on women worldwide. The Institute's sparkling new headquarters played host to an insightful and inspiring discussion - a fitting kick-off for a week full of stateless advocacy here at RI.

Kuwaitis Push Back on Bidoun Rights

By Michael Boyce
This weekend, Kuwaiti officials attempted to rebuff international criticism of the country's nationality policy - specifically, its persistent discrimination against the stateless bidoun.

Kuwait’s Bidun: The need for nationality

By Marc Hanson
Imagine waking one morning with no claim to any social, civic or economic status. With no official documents in hand that entitle you to a social security number, driver’s license, passport, bank account, gainful employment or school enrollment for yourself of your child, you head off to the DMV to try your luck at getting a license. After hours in line you’re told that you can have a driver’s license. But there’s a catch.

Kuwait: “Daughters of this country, but not treated fairly”

By Melanie Teff

“My son heard my husband knocking some nails into the wall and he actually thought this noise was me killing his father,” a Kuwaiti woman, whom I will call Mona, told me. I am currently in Kuwait with my Refugees International colleague, assessing the needs of this country’s stateless population.

Latvia’s Other Human Rights Problem

By Maureen Lynch

“You’re in Sweden now,” the asylum seeker was told as he was dropped in a Latvian forest. The news marked yet another phase in one refugee’s search for safety. Latvia has been historically resistant to inbound migration. Although the country began receiving small numbers of asylum seekers in the late 1990s one human rights worker reminded me, “As a country we’re fairly new to this. Our asylum law meets minimum standards of the EU. The problem is how it is implemented.”

Kuwait’s Bidoon (Stateless) Face Unprovoked Force in Their Struggle for Basic Human Rights

By Maureen Lynch
Crying "Peaceful, peaceful, peaceful," Kuwaiti bidoon fathers and their children along with a small number of women stood up for their right to a nationality and concomitant rights in the cities of Jahra, Sulabiya, and Al-Ahmedi today.  However, instead of responding with real concrete solutions or trustworthy promises, their request was met with a burst of armored vehicles, shots of tear gas, brutal beatings, and a large number of arbitrary arrests.

International Women’s Day: A Stateless Woman’s Story

By Melanie Teff
On International Women’s Day we celebrate women’s achievements and we push for further progress towards real equality. But a large group of women around the world are being shut out of enjoying any progress – women who have no citizenship of any country. Their statelessness means that no government protects their rights.

In Malaysia last week I met with Gultaz, who was 9 months pregnant and very scared. Her story illustrates the type of problems that many stateless women around the world face, forced to hide themselves away and unable to advance in their lives.

Sudan: Preventing Statelessness

By Maureen Lynch
Voting began yesterday on the referendum for independence in south Sudan. This is a historic moment, but many issues in Sudan remain unresolved. RI colleague Limnyuy Konglim identified the following concerns in her latest field mission report:
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