Stateless People

Up to 15 million people in the world are stateless, people with no country. The media doesn’t mention them, researchers do not focus on them, and until very recently the UN did not discuss them either. One of the largest stateless groups is the Rohingyas. They are Muslim in South Asia refused citizenship by the Myanmar government and many thousands are scattered throughout the region. Aside from the lack of hope or the effect on poverty, stateless people typically have no access to education, health care or formal employment. It is rare for them to own businesses, own property, qualify for a driving license or open a bank account. In addition they can’t get married legally, travel abroad or visit family. Since they can’t vote, politicians have not paid much attention to them. Being stateless says Mohamed Alenezi, a bedoun (another stateless group) from Kuwait “is like being between the earth and sky, you are here and not here.”

We each have issues, problems, things we have to accept, work through, figure out, or handle. Some may even be serious but being stateless is not among them. How fortunate we are.