Statelessness (Ro.: Apatridie, Fr.: Apatridie, n.f., Gr.: ανιθαγένεια) (See also: refugee, foreigner) = the situation in which a person does not have a nationality or the protection of any state.

Stateless persons still have to respect the laws and rules of the state they are living in. They benefit from the same treatment which the foreigners have in a specific country. They are also under national treatment, having the same rights and obligations as the citizens of the state where they reside, in the following matters: public education, public aid, labour, social security and tax charges.

The most common stateless situations are generated by conflicts of law, gender discrimination, state succession, administrative obstacles, renunciation of citizenship and non-state territories. Besides those who have committed a crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity, a serious non-political crime outside the country of residence, or those who have been accused of committing acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN, anyone can become a stateless person.


Useful resources

Legislation - 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons [English, French] - Article 18 of the Romanian Constitution [Romanian] - The legal status of stateless persons in the Romanian Civil Code [Romanian] - Statelessness in the French Civil Code [French]


Organisations and associations - The United Nations Refugee Agency - The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights - European Council on Refugees and Exiles - European Network on Statelessness - Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion

Online publications - Batchelor C. A., 1998, Statelessness and the Problem of Resolving Nationality Status, 10 Int'l J. Refugee L. 156 [English] - Chung S., Lee Ch., Lee H. T., Park J. H., 2009, The Treatment of Stateless Persons and the Reduction of Statelessness: Policy Suggestions for the Republic of Korea [English] - Cornell J., 2015, Statelessness and environmental displacement, Forced Migration Review 49 [English] - Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E., 2015, On the threshold of statelessness: Palestinian narratives of loss and erasure, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Volume 39, Issue 2, Special Issue:   The Impact of Diasporas: Markers of Identity [English] - Fisher, B. L., 2015, Statelessness in the GCC: Gender Discrimination beyond Nationality Law, Statelessness Working Paper Series No. 2015/01 [English] - Gabiam N., 2015, Citizenship and Development: Palestinians in France and the Multiple Meanings of Statelessness, Studies in Comparative International Development, Volume 50, Issues 4 [English] - Ganczer M., The Right to a Nationality as a Human Right? [English] - Genitsari P., 2012, The Legal Status of Stateless Persons under International Law, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki: postgraduate thesis [Greek] - Gromilova A., 2015, How statelessness can force refugees to redefine their ethnicity: what can be learned from Russian émigrés dispersed to six continents in the inter-war period?, RSP No. 47 [English] - Gromilova A., 2015, Statelessness: Challenging the “Europeanness” in the Baltics, RSP No. 47 [English] - Hellborg M., 2015, Statelessness and Nationality: The Case of Non-Citizens in Latvia, Uppsala University: Student Thesis [English] - Kerber L. K., 2005, Toward a History of Statelessness in America, American Quaterly, Volume 57, Number 3 [English] - Recalde Vela, M. J., 2015, How can identity assert a claim to citizenship? In search of a safeguard against statelessness, Student Undergraduate Research Journal Vol. 1, No. 1 [English] - SIgona N., 2015, Roma, statelessness and Yugo-nostalgia from Disaporas Reimagined: Spaces, Practices and Belonging, Oxford Diasporas Programme [English] - Sigona N., 2016, Everyday statelessness in Italy: status, rights, and camps, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Volume 39, Issue 2, Special Issue: The Impact of Diasporas: Markers of Identity [English] - UNHCR, 2005, Nationalité et Apatridie: un guide pour les parlementaires, Guide pratique a l' usage des parlementaires no 11 [French] - UNHCR, 2014, Handbook on Protection of Stateless Persons Under the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons [English] - Weis P., 1962, The United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Volume 11, Issue 1 [English] - Weissbrodt, D. S., Meyer, K. A., 2015, Nationality and Statelessness Under International Law (review), Human Rights Quarterly, Volume 37, Number 3 [English]


Edwards A., Van Waas L., 2014, Nationality and Statelessness under International Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press [English]

Iancu G., 2014, Drept constitutional si instituții politice, C.H.Beck [Romanian]

Keating M., 2001, Plurinational democracy: stateless nations in a post-sovereignty era, Oxford, New York, Oxford University Press [English]

Mihăilă M., Andrițoi C., 200, Protectia juridică a drepturilor omului, Eftimie Murgu [Romanian]

Selejan-Guțan B., 2008, Drept constituțional si institțtii politice, Hamangiu [Romanian]


By Mădălina Enea