A series of articles on the phenomenon of statelessness (written by Noémi Ivicsics, intern at the Hungarian Helsinki Committee) has been published on the Hungarian world news and foreign policy website, Kitekintő.
Having a nationality is like the air to breathe. One takes it for granted and only realises its importance when it is missing. Currently, there are at least 12 million stateless persons in the world, who lack not only a country to call home, but in many cases – without any official registration or documents – also a proper “legal existence”. Statelessness has long been an unjustifiably forgotten issue of international protection and human rights.
The right to a nationality at birth (or soon after) is still painfully often seen as a reserved domain of state sovereignty and discretion, an approach which is incorrect in light of relevant international obligations.