Written by: Joshua Wako (Norway)
Having no formal country to belong to is the most unimaginable de-humanising situation someone would never wish to be in. To be stateless is to lose your citizenship or have no documentation to describe who you are or what country you belong to. On a broader view, more than 20 countries worldwide have policies that aim to exclude people deemed to be outsiders for not withstanding with their deep connection to those particular states they reside. For example; the stateless people of Ogaden in Ethiopia, people in Myanmar´s Rakhine state, Syrian, Afghanistan, Europe´s 600,000 stateless people affected by dissolution of former states and many others. The exact number of stateless persons is not known however according to the UNHCR, there many millions globally – of which approximately one third of these are children. In this case, most children become stateless when their fathers are dead, missing or not known and yet countries in which their mothers originate have strict policies that do not permit mother to child nationality transfer.
After launching the 2014 campaign to end stateless persons in 10 years, the UNHCR praised Norway as one of the most funding UN member states that had constantly continued to uphold most of its obligations in relation to refugees and asylum seekers. Although there have not been egregious reports of human rights abuses in Norway, many stateless Children and persons in Norway still face unfortunate challenges when their cases are delayed and denied. The UNHCR critic report on Norway´s policies regarding stateless persons demanded for a timely solution to cub threats of deportation that were being faced by children who had turned 18 or grown in Norway. The Organisation further highlighted need for loosening of strict laws that never permitted stateless people exercise their fundamental human rights. In response an interim law was drafted to enable UDI accept Citizenship for stateless children born in Norway after three years of legal residence. Despite the recent changes that I highly commend Norway for, I still feel the Norwagian parliament must develop a constitutional law that includes stateless people as their needs heavily differ from refugees.