Asian Review

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) has affirmed the fundamental rights of every person without taking nationality into consideration. However, significant populations world-wide are unable to exercise these rights. Thus, citizenship is a prerequisite to gaining one’s rights within the state. When individuals are unable to register or are rejected from registering as legal persons in the civil registration of any state on earth, this creates problems in terms of individual status certification and renders certain rights to be inaccessible. Although the Asian Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with the cooperation of each region have made efforts to help solve statelessness problems in this region, the number of stateless persons in Southeast Asia still makes up roughly 40 percent of total stateless persons world-wide. This issue reflects a considerable gap between the written law and its application. The objective of this article is to present the situation of stateless persons in Southeast Asia, analyze the causes of the problem and suggest strategic solutions for statelessness by using a conceptual framework relating to fundamental human rights and the stability of regions.



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