Statelessness in the Asia Pacific

The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI) estimates that there are at least 15 million stateless people globally.[1]  According to UNHCR’s ‘Global Trends’ report and the data provided to UNHCR by states in 2021, there are approximately 2.4 million (2,412,500) stateless people in the Asia-Pacific region. With at least 700,000 stateless Rohingya escaping violence and persecution from Myanmar to Bangladesh in August 2017[2], and almost 2 million people in Assam, India excluded from the National Register of Citizens and denied rights and at risk of indefinite detention and deportation, there has been increased attention drawn to the gravity of the statelessness crisis in the region.

Only 5 out of the 41 countries in the Asia-Pacific region have ratified the 1961 Statelessness Convention, and 6 of them have ratified the 1954 Convention on Statelessness. 30 of them have ratified the ICCPR, and all countries in the region are parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Only two countries have not ratified CEDAW, but three countries have made a reservation on Article 9 of CEDAW. 29 countries have ratified ICERD. Additionally, only 14 countries have ratified the Refugee Convention and its protocols.

Almost all citizenship laws in the region operate through the principle of jus sanguinis. Across Asia Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Pakistan, and Thailand’s citizenship laws include jus soli, or ‘birthright citizenship’ provisions but all of them have been subjected to criticism for the implementation of those provisions. In the Pacific, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, and Tuvalu have limited provision for jus soli citizenship. Countries like Brunei and Myanmar do not provide any right to nationality for foundling children. Brunei, Myanmar, Singapore, Nepal, India, and Bangladesh do not provide any explicit protection for children born to stateless parents or born in the country and otherwise stateless. In addition to the presence of jus sanguinis citizenship provisions, some democratic countries use citizenship as an election agenda with certain political parties advocating a populist nationalistic ideology. This has resulted in several minority groups being, directly and indirectly, discriminated against by the state and not recognized as citizens. Such discriminatory nationality laws and policies are one of the leading causes of statelessness in the region.

Brunei, Kiribati, Malaysia, and Nepal do not allow women to confer citizenship to their children on an equal basis as men. The direct and indirect discrimination based on religion, ethnicity, and race is also one of the reasons for exclusion in the citizenship regime in the region. The discrimination faced by the Rohingyas in Myanmar, non-Malays in Brunei, ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia, Persons of Indonesian and Japanese descent in the Philippines, ethnic Bengalis in Pakistan and India, Bajau Laut community in Malaysia and the Philippines, Dalits, and Madheshis in Nepal, is one the main causes of statelessness in those countries. This has resulted in a huge presence of in-situ stateless persons which are not accounted for in the official UNCHR statistics of stateless persons. E.g. Nepal had a projected 6.7 million people without citizenship certificates and among them most are non-migratory. Similarly, more than 775,000 undocumented Afghans are residing in Pakistan.[i]

As stated earlier, UNHCR reports 2.4 million stateless people in the Asia Pacific region as of 2021. The following table provides a country-wise data of reported stateless persons in the region as of 2021:

SNCountryReported Stateless Persons as of 2021
1ChinaNot reported
2Japan 531
3Mongolia 17
4North KoreaNot reported
5South Korea 204
7Cambodia 75,000
8Indonesia 641
9LaosNot reported
10Malaysia 112,420
12The Philippines 260
14Thailand 561,527
15Timor-LesteNot reported
16Vietnam 35,475
17AfghanistanNot reported
18Bangladesh 918,841
19Bhutan Not reported
20India 20,154
21MaldivesNot reported
22Nepal 465
24Sri Lanka35
25Australia 7,700
26New Zealand 1
27FijiNot reported
28Papua New Guinea 8
29Solomon IslandsNot reported
30VanuatuNot reported
31KiribatiNot reported
32Marshall IslandsNot reported
33Federated States of MicronesiaNot reported
34Nauru 132
35PalauNot reported
36SamoaNot reported
37TongaNot reported
38TuvaluNot reported


This does not provide an accurate picture of the actual number of stateless persons in the region. Further according to UNHCR statistics about 1.6 million stateless Rohingya have fled Myanmar and live in surrounding states.[ii] This project’s population of concern includes all the reported and unreported stateless people and persons at the risk of statelessness in the region.

Three of the five largest hosting countries globally — Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Thailand — in the region. UNHCR notes specifically that their data is not complete and includes estimates. Of the 38 Countries within the Asia-Pacific Region in 2019, 2020 and 2021 approximately half (24 countries in 2019, 19 in 2020 and 17 in 2020) reported either no figures to UNHCR or zero stateless people. For example, Pakistan reported that there were zero stateless persons in the country in 2019 and 47 in 2020 and 2021, despite the fact that there is a reported population of between 300,000 and 500,000 Rohingya refugees in Pakistan.[iii] This further evidences an issue of relying solely on figures of those who are classified as ‘stateless’ under international law and does not provide figures on populations groups who are at risk of statelessness or who have an undetermined nationality status.

Further, for a number of countries, including India, Indonesia, Nauru, Nepal and Papua New Guinea the figures presented only represent stateless Rohingya refugees and asylum seekers, with the UNHCR noting that the ‘figure reflected does not represent an estimation of the entire stateless population’ in these countries.[iv]  From NFA’s discussions and consultations with various stakeholders in the Asia Pacific region, some of the key causes of the lack of statistical reporting on stateless seem to be government hesitance and inaction to recognize stateless communities as well as practical difficulties of access and engaging with stateless communities.

UNHCR has specifically noted several countries in the region for which ‘UNHCR has information about stateless persons, but no reliable data’. These countries include: Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.[v] In the case of Nepal in 2019 zero stateless people were reported.[vi] In 2020 the figure of 371 stateless people was included in the Global Trends report covering stateless Rohingya refugees and asylum seekers in Nepal.[vii] Despite this low level of official reporting, UNHCR has notes that ‘[v]arious studies estimate that a large number of individuals lack citizenship certificates in Nepal’ in 2017 the US Department of State estimates that this figure may be as high as 5.4 million people.[viii] While not all of these individuals are necessarily stateless, the fundamental discrepancy between the reported figures and the potential figures is staggering.

This further evidences an issue of relying solely on figures of those who are classified as ‘stateless’ under international law and does not provide figures on populations groups who are at risk of statelessness or who have an undetermined nationality status. For instance, India reported a stateless population of 18,174 to UNHCR in 2020.[ix] Even if this figure correctly included all individual in India who were legally ‘stateless’ it could not cover most of the almost 2 million people at risk of statelessness due to the NRC process who have been labelled ‘doubtful voters’ or have cases pending before the NRC.[x]

The other key issues that continue in the statelessness sector is a lack of specifically focused reports and analysis of statelessness. Several reports and articles are published which focus on refugees, migrants or ethnic minority groups where statelessness is also discussed but is not the key focus of the publication. This can lead to a lack of detailed analysis as well as a blurring of issues. It is generally the minority communities in each country that are either stateless or at the risk of statelessness. They face direct or indirect discrimination and are excluded in the citizenship acquisition system.

Statelessness in East Asia

Based on NFA’s research, stateless populations and those at risk of statelessness within China include children born in China to North Korean women, foreign spouses and children excluded from the hukou household registration system.[xi] Further issues of statelessness exist in the territory of Taiwan specifically among marriage migrants from South-East Asia.[xii] The context of statelessness in Japan has been quite extensively studied with a series of mapping reports commissioned by UNHCR having been undertaken between 2010 and 2017 as well as a number of independent articles published in English and Japanese.[xiii] Identified groups of stateless persons in Japan include children affected by conflict of nationality laws, children of unregister migrants and abandoned children.[xiv] In South Korea stateless populations largely make up of foreign spouses and their children.[xv] Similarly in Mongolia, UNHCR and Committee on the Rights of the Child have both drawn attention to the situation of ethnic Kazakhs in the country.[xvi] In the context of North Korea, there is minimal research outside of the situation of children born to North Korean women in China, which has been highlighted as an obligation of North Korea by the CEDAW Committee.[xvii]

Statelessness in Southeast Asia

In this region, Myanmar has the largest reported stateless population, reporting 600,000 stateless persons to UNHCR in 2022 which includes stateless Rohingya both in Rakhine State and that are internally displaced.[xviii] As noted above Brunei’s citizenship laws contain both racially and gender discriminatory provisions, Malay ethnicity and citizenship are deeply entwined. According to the US Department of State most stateless persons in Brunei were born in the country from families of Chinese heritage who have resided in Brunei for multiple generations and have permanent residence in Brunei.[xix] Similarly, in Cambodia the conception of “Khmer citizenship” is based on a historical and continual connection between ethnicity and citizenship.[xx] Based on the available research it appears that the majority of this population are ethnic Vietnamese long-term residents. Research into the non-displaced stateless population in Indonesia is limited but UNHCR has noted that a potentially sizeable population of non-displaced stateless persons exist for whom no data is available.’[xxi]

Malaysia has the third largest reported stateless population in the sub-region. The UNHCR outlines that this figure is comprised of 103,000  stateless Rohingya in Malaysia along with 9,040 non-displaced stateless persons in West Malaysia ‘who may be entitled to Malaysian nationality under the law.’[xxii] A number of groups at risk of or affected by statelessness have been recognized in Malaysia in addition to Rohingya refugees including; persons who have resided in Malaysia since pre-independence as well as their decedents (including individuals of Tamil ethnicity), children of mixed-nationality marriages (through the impact of gender discriminatory nationality laws), indigenous persons (including mobile maritime populations), refugees and irregular migrants (and their children) in Sabah East Malaysia, as well as persons lacking documentation and foundling children.[xxiii]

There are a number of populations groups within the Philippines who are affected by or at risk of statelessness, including the indigenous sea-faring Sama Bajau, Persons of Indonesian Descent (the status of most of this population group has been resolved in recent years), persons of Japanese descent and unregistered children who have been forcibly displaced due to armed conflict.[xxiv] Additionally, outside of the Philippines a number of children on families in Sabah as well as migratory workers in Gulf countries are at risk of or affected by statelessness.[xxv]

Singapore’s stateless population is comprised primarily of three groups being persons born in the country before independence who did not meet the requirements of citizenship then in force, permanent residents who have lost their foreign citizenship, and children born to foreign nationals not recognized as citizens in their home countries.[xxvi] Thailand has the second largest stateless population in the region. Statelessness in Thailand largely affects ethnic minority groups in northern Thailand, specifically near the Thai-Myanmar border.[xxvii] Groups affected by statelessness in Vietnam include persons of Cambodian heritage who fled to Vietnam during the Khmer Rouge regime, ethnic Hmong, and female marriage migrants who have returned to Vietnam after the breakdown of marriages.[xxviii] Laos and Timor-Leste have repeatedly reported zero stateless persons to UNHCR. There is very limited research and information on stateless populations in Laos. The Hmong ethnic group face continual discrimination (including the denial of passports) and have low birth-registration rates and as such are at risk of statelessness.[xxix]

Statelessness in South Asia

The situation of statelessness in Afghanistan is under-researched. There is some reporting on the situation of semi-nomadic communities of Jat ethnicity (which includes the Jogi, Chori Frosh and Mosuli groups) who were denied access to Afghan identity documents (Tazkeras) and rendered stateless.[xxx] In 2019, some members of these communities were granted Tazkeras.[xxxi] Millions of Afghani’s have fled Afghanistan due to wars and persecution in the country, due to loss or denial of identity documents, the children of many Afghan refugees and asylum seekers have been affected by or are at risk of statelessness. Bangladesh has the highest recorded number of stateless persons in the region, and the second highest globally, reporting 918,841 stateless persons to UNHCR in 2021.[xxxii] However, this figure comprises entirely of stateless Rohingya refugees within Bangladesh.

While Bhutan reports no stateless persons to UNHCR, in the early 2000’s there was concerted focus on the denationalization and expulsion of persons of Nepali ethnic origin the Lhotshampa in the 1980–90’s.[xxxiii] In recent years the situation of persons of Nepali origin who remain in Bhutan and of those who fled from the country has been far less prominent.[xxxiv]

There are a number of different populations groups in India affected by or at risk of statelessness including Rohingya refugees, Tibetan refugees, ethnic minority groups living in border regions (including the Chakma, Hjong and Kutchi communities) and former Kashmiri militants.[xxxv] Enhanced focus has been given in recent years to the situation in Assam following the publication of the state’s National Register of Citizens in 2019 which labelled almost 2 million Assamese as foreigners.[xxxvi] Further, there has been domestic and international attention regarding the impact of the 2019 Citizenship Amendment Act which provides a pathway to citizenship for ‘illegal migrants’ of certain religions from enumerated neighboring countries, notably persons of Muslim faith are excluded from the operation of the Act.[xxxvii]

UNHCR notes that ‘[v]arious studies estimate that a large number of individuals lack citizenship certificates in Nepal. While these individuals are not all necessarily stateless, UNHCR have been working closely with the Government of Nepal and partners to address this situation.’[xxxviii] There has been consistent advocacy and scrutiny around Nepal’s gender discriminatory citizenship laws at a domestic level as well as a focus on international academics and organizations.[xxxix] Other groups in Nepal face issues of accessing citizenship and identity documents including Dalit and Madheshi communities, however, less focus has been given to their status by academics and NGOs.[xl]

There is a reported population of between 300,000 and 500,000 Rohingya refugees in Pakistan.[xli] Further, the children of Afghan refugees in Pakistan are at risk of statelessness, as the High Court of Pakistan has explicitly stated that they are excluded from the operation of the jus soli provisions of the Pakistan citizenship law.[xlii] Bengali speaking and Bihari populations, many of whom have lived in Pakistan prior to independence have also been excluded from the operation of the jus soli provisions as well as facing administrative barriers to accessing national identity documents.[xliii]

Statelessness in The Pacific

Australia reported zero stateless persons to UNHCR in 2019,[xliv] while the Department of Home Affairs Figures showed that there were at least 4,025 stateless people in Australia.[xlv] In 2020 Australia in turn reported 5,221 stateless persons to the UNHCR and in 2021 7,700 stateless persons were reported.[xlvi] While comprehensive mapping has not yet been undertaken on stateless populations in Australia, based on our desk research and consultations it appears that most of the stateless population in Australia are refugees and asylum seekers.[xlvii] New Zealand had repeatedly reported a stateless population of zero to the UNHCR but in 2021 they reported a solitary case of a stateless person. However, through our desk research we have found a number of decisions of the Immigration and Protection Tribunal of New Zealand concerning stateless refugee applicants.[xlviii]

Papua New Guinea is the only state to have reported figures of stateless persons to the UNHCR, reporting eight stateless persons in 2020.[xlix] UNHCR has noted that this figure represents Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and does not represent an estimate of the entire stateless populations in Papua New Guinea.[l] Concerns have previously been expressed by UNHCR and independent NGOS regarding the potential statelessness of West Papuan refugees in Papua New Guinea, who due to absence from West Papua have lost their Indonesian citizenship and have been unable to access Papua New Guinean citizenship through naturalization.[li] While there have been reports in recent years of some West Papuan refugees accessing citizenship, this does not appear to be universal,[lii] and a number of other refugee populations (including children born to refugees held on Manus Island and Papua New Guinean mothers)[liii] continue to face both legal and administrative barriers to citizenship. There is very limited research and report on statelessness in other countries in Melanesia. There are very low rates of refugees and asylum seekers in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Fiji recorded 14 refugees and 5 asylum seekers to UNHCR in 2020,[liv] with the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu not providing statistics.

Nauru is the only state in Micronesia to report statistics on stateless persons to the UNHCR, doing so for the first time in 2020 and reporting 140 stateless persons and 132 in 2021. UNHCR has noted that this figure represents Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and does not represent an estimate of the entire stateless populations in Nauru.[lv] As noted above, children born outside of Kiribati to mothers with Kiribati citizenship cannot access citizenship automatically. There are no reliable statistics on the number of persons this provision has affected. There are several articles and reports written on the risk of statelessness faced by citizens of low-lying pacific states including Kiribati and the Marshall Islands due to the impact of climate-induced sea-level rise.[lvi]

None of the states in Polynesia have reported figures concerning stateless persons to the UNHCR. Tuvalu is a low-lying state at risk of ‘disappearing’ due to the impacts of climate change.[lvii] Outside of the research which discussed Tuvalu, no research publications focusing on statelessness in Polynesia were found through our desk research.

[1] Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion, ‘Statelessness in Numbers: 2020’ (Report, August 2020) <>.

[2] The total number of Rohingya in Bangladesh as of 2021 is approximately 918,841.

[i] UNHCR, Afghanistan Situation Regional Refugee Response Plan 2022, 12 January 2022,

[ii] UNHCR, ‘Global Trends 2020’ (n 13) 18.

[iii] See UNHCR, ‘Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2019’ (June 2020); UNHCR, Global Trends 2020 (n 13). Reuters has estimated that there are 300,000 Rohingya in Pakistan, Saad Sayeed and Syed Raza Hassan, ‘Rohingya Refugees in Pakistan Fear for Relatives in Myanmar’, Reuters (online, 10 September 2017) <>; The New York Times estimated 500,000 Rohingya in Myanmar, Mahreen Zahra-Malik, ‘Far From Myanmar Violence, Rohingya in Pakistan Are Seething’, New York Times (online, 12 September 2017) <>; The Rohingya Project has estimated 350,000 Rohingya in Myanmar, The Rohingya Project (WebPag) <>; CNN has estimated that there are 55,000 Rohingya living in Pakistan, Sophia Saaifi, ‘Pakistan’s Stateless Rohingya’, CNN (Online, 11 September 2017) <>.

[iv] UNHCR, ‘Global Trends 2020’ (n 13) Annex, Table 5.

[v] UNHCR, ‘Global Trends 2020’ (n 13) Annex, Table 5.

[vi] UNHCR, ‘Global Trends 2019’ (n 15) 74.

[vii] UNHCR, ‘Global Trends 2020’ (n 13) Annex, Table 5.

[viii] See further Citizenship Affected People’s Network Nepal, Community Action Centre Nepal, Dignity Initiative, Nepal Institute of Peace, Statelessness Network Asia Pacific, Global Campaign for Equal nationality Rights and Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion, ‘Joint Submission to the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review 37th Session, 3rd Cycle: Nepal’ (9 July 2020).

[ix] UNHCR, Global Trends 2020 (n 13) Annex, Table 5.

[x] See Talha Abdul Rahman, ‘Identifying the “Outsider”: An Assessment of Foreigners Tribunals in the Indian State of Assam’ (2020) 2(1) Statelessness & Citizenship Review 112; Right to Nationality & Citizenship Network, ‘Marginalised and Impoverished in Assam’ (Report, January 2021); J Field et al, ‘Bureaucratic Failings in the National Register of Citizens Process Have Worsen Life for the Vulnerable in Assam’ (Report, 2019).

[xi] See e.g. Mims (n 16); Vortherms (n 25); I Si Yoon, ‘Cosmopolitanism: The Foundational Ground for a More Inclusive Understanding of Belonging to Protect Human Rights of North Korean Stateless Women’ (2020) 58(2) International Migration 67; Kyle Van Fleet and Shin Ji Kang, ‘Case Studies of Statelessness: North Koreans Born in China, Rohingya in Myanmar, and Palestinians under the Arab League’ (2018) LI(2) Towson University Journal of International Affairs 49; Jeanyoung Jeannie Cho, ‘Systemizing the Fate of the Stateless North Korean Migrants: A Legal Guide to Prevention the Automatic Repatriation of North Korean Migrants in China’ (2013) 37(1) Fordham International Law School 175; Lu Haina and Hao Wanyuan, ‘Protection of Stateless Persons in China: A Human Rights Perspective’ (2017) 12(3) Frontier of Law in China 404; Stephanie Anne Gordon, ‘China’s Hidden Children: negotiating Documentation Denial and its Impact on a Population at Risk of Statelessness’ (DPhil, University of Leicester 2016);

[xii] Hsiao-Chuan Hsia, ‘From “Social Problem” to “Social Assets”: Geopolitical, Discursive Shifts in Children of Southeast Asian Marriage Migrants, and Mother-Child Dyadic Citizenship in Taiwan’ [2021] Citizenship Studies 1. Te-Yuan Chien, ‘Differential Human Right of Migrant Spouses Based on Nationalities in Taiwan’ (2018) 19 Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law 81; Susan Kneebone, ‘Gender, Statelessness and Nation-State: Observations from Marriage Migration to East Asia’ (Forthcoming)

[xiii] See Abe Kohki, ‘Overview of Statelessness: International and Japanese Context’ (Report, UNHCR 2010); Osamu Araki, ‘Statelessness Conventions and Japanese Laws: Convergence and Divergence’ (Report, UNHCR 2015); Study Group on Statelessness in Japan (n 16) fn 17 (and citations listed therein); Chen Tien-Shi, ‘Statelessness in Japan: Management and Challenges’ (2012) 21(1) Journal of Population and Social Studies 70; Sari K Ishii, ‘Access to Citizenship for Abandoned Children: How Migrant’s Children Become “Stateless” in Japanese Orphanages’ (2021) 47(5) Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 970; Rike Lee, ‘Stateless Identity of Korean Diaspora: The Second Generation in Prewar Hawai’i and Postwar Japan’ (2020) 28 Japanese Journal of Policy and Culture 55;

[xiv] See (n 28) and citations therein.

[xv] See e.g. Min-Chul Hwang, ‘Exploring Marriage Migrants’ Citizenship Acquisition in South Korea’ (2015) 24(3) Asia and Pacific Migration Journal 376; Susan Kneebone, ‘Transnational Marriage Migrants and Nationality: The Case of South Korea and Taiwan’ (Conference Paper, International Academic Conference, November 2017); Hee-Kang Kim, ‘Marriage Migration between South Korea and Vietnam: A Gender Perspective’ (2012) 36(3) Asian Perspective 531.

[xvi] UNHCR, ‘Submission by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees for the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights’ Compilation Report-Universal Periodic Review: Mongolia’ (April 2010) 3–5; Committee on the Rights of the Child, ‘Concluding Observations on the Fifth Periodic Report of Mongolia’ UN Doc CRC/C/MNG/CO/5 (12 July 2017) [20].

[xvii] Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, ‘Concluding Observations on the Combines Second to Fourth Periodic Reports of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’ UN Doc CEDAW/C/PRK/CO/2–4 (22 November 2017) [31]–[32].

[xviii] UNHCR, ‘Global Trends 2020’ (n 13) Annex, Table 5.

[xix] US Department of State (n 71) 12; UNHC R, ‘Submission by the United Nationals High Commissioner for Refugees for the Office of the Human Commissions for Human Rights’ Compilation Report Universal Periodic Review: 3rd Cycle, 33rd Session Brunei Darussalam (2018) 3.

[xx] See further Christoph Sperfeldt, ‘Report on Citizenship Law: Cambodia’ (GlobalCit, 2017).

[xxi] See Australia Indonesia Partnership for Justice, ‘AIPJ Baseline Study on Legal Identity: Indonesia’s Missing Millions’ (Report, 2014)

[xxii] Ibid.

[xxiii] See Jamie Chai Yun Liew, ‘Homegrown Statelessness in Malaysia and the Promise of the Principle of Genuine and Affective Links’ (2019) 1(1) Statelessness & Citizenship Review 95.

[xxiv] See Brian Barbour, ‘Desk Review of Populations at Risk of Statelessness Philippines’ (UNHCR, 2021).

[xxv] Ibid. See also, Investigating Mission of the Committee on Overseas Worker’s Affairs (COWA) to Saudi Arabia, ‘The Conditions of Overseas Filipino Workers in Saudi Arabia’ (January 2011); Nicole J Sayers, ‘An Analysis of the Situation of Filipino Domestic Workers’ (ILO, 2007); Pardis Mahdavi, ‘Children of the Emir: Perverse Integration and Incorporation in the Gulf’ in Sara L Friedman and Pardis Mahdavi (eds.), Migrant Encounters (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).

[xxvi] See, United States Department of State, ‘Singapore 2020 Human Rights Report’ (2021) 20; Wong Pei Ting, ‘Confused and Dejected, Stateless Persons Plead to be Called Singaporeans’, Today (Online, 26 September 2016) <>; ‘Nearly a Singaporean’, Medium (Online, 26 January 2017) <>.

[xxvii] See, Janepicha Cheva-Isarakul, ‘“Diagnosing” Statelessness and Everyday State Illegibility in Northern Thailand’ (2019) 1(2) Statelessness & Citizenship Review 214; Janepicha Cheva-Isarakul, ‘Navigating the Illegible State: Everyday Experiences of Statelessness Among Shan Youth in Northern Thailand’ (PhD Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, 2020); Amanda Flaim ‘Problems of Evidence, Evidence of Problems: Expanding Citizenship and Reproducing Statelessness among Highlanders in Northern Thailand’ in Benjamin Lawrence and Jacqueline Stevens (eds), Citizenship in Question: Evidentiary Birthright and Statelessness (Duke University Press, 2017); Amanda Leigh Flaim, ‘No Land’s Man: Sovereignty, Legal Status, and the Production of Statelessness Among Highlanders in Northern Thailand’ (PhD Thesis, Cornell University, 2015); Amanda Flaim, Lindy B Williams and Daniel B Alquist, ‘How Statelessness, Citizenship, and Out-migration Contributes to Stratification Among Rural Elderly in the Highlands of Thailand’ (2019) Social Forces 1; Joy K Park, John E Tanagho and Mary E Weicher Gaudette, ‘A Global Crisis Writ Large: The Effects of Being “Stateless in Thailand” on Hill-Tribe Children’ (2009) 19 San Diego International Law Journal 496; Ladawan Khaikham, ‘A Life in Waiting: Thai Citizenship and Stateless Youth Along the Thailand-Myanmar Border’ (PhD Thesis, Australian National University, 2017).

[xxviii] See United States Department of State, ‘Vietnam 2020 Human Rights Report’ (2021) 26.

[xxix] Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion and Statelessness Network Asia Pacific, ‘Joint Submission to the Human Rights Council at the 35th Session of the Universal Periodic Review: Lao People’s Democratic Republic’ (Report, 2019); United States Department of State, ‘Laos 2020 Human Rights Report’ (Report, 2021); ‘Hmong, New Deadly Attack Launch by Laotian Military’, UNPO (Online, 12 May 2020) <>.

[xxx] See, Zarwali Khoshnood, ‘Afghanistan’s Marginalized Minority Fights Stateless Status’, Gandhara (Online, 29 June 2015) <>; Lima Hadi, Noorullah Shayan and Abubakar Siddique, ‘Jogis: Afghanistan’s Tiny Stateless Minority Strive to Survive Without Rights, Services’, Gandhara (Online, 14 October 2019) <>; Samuel Hall and the Norwegian Refugee Council, ‘Access to Tazkera and other Civil Documentation in Afghanistan’ (Report, 2016); UNHCR, ‘Submission by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Compilation Report, Universal Periodic Review: 3rd Cycle, 32nd Session Afghanistan’ (Report, January 2019) 3.

[xxxi] See Khadija Hossaini and Thomas Ruttig, ‘Citizenship, Finally, But No Place to Settle: The Magats one of Afghanistan’s Most Marginalised Minorities’ Afghanistan Analysts Network (Online, 8 July 2020) <>.

[xxxii] UNHCR, ‘Global Trends 2020’ (n 13) Annex, Table 5.

[xxxiii] See Michael Hutt, Unbecoming Citizens: Culture, Nationhood, and the Flight of Refugees from Bhutan (Oxford University Press, 2005); Tang Lay Lee, ‘Refugees from Bhutan: Nationality, Statelessness and the Right to Return’ (1998) 10(1–2) International Journal of Refugee Law 118; Ben Saul, ‘Cultural Nationalism, Self-Determination and Human Rights in Bhutan’ (2000) 12(3) International journal of Refugee Law 321; Bill Frelick, ‘Bhutan’s Ethnic Cleansing’ Human Rights Watch (Online, 1 February 2008) <>.

[xxxiv] See United States Department of State, ‘Bhutan 2020 Human Rights Report’ (Report, 2021) 9–10; Maximillian Mørch, ‘Bhutan’s Dark Secret: The Lhotshampa Expulsion’ The Diplomat (Online, 21 September 2016) <>; ‘Lhotshampas’ Minority Rights (WebPage) <>.

[xxxv] See Tejal Khanna, ‘Rohingyas and the (IL)Legal Quest for an Indian Identity’ (2020) 2(2) Statelessness & Citizenship Review 342; Madhura Balasubramaniam and Sonika Gupta, ‘Disciplining Statelessness: Fragmentary Outcomes of the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy in India’ [2020] Asian Studies Review 1; Deepak K Singh, Statelessness in South Asia: The Chakmas between Bangladesh and India (Sage, 2010); Shewly (n 131).

[xxxvi] See n 10 and citations therein; See also, Regina Menachery Paulose, ‘A New Dawn? Statelessness and Assam’ (2019) 7(1) Groningen Journal of International Law 99; Amnesty International, ‘Designed to Exclude: How India’s Courts are Allowing Foreigners Tribunals to Render People Stateless in Assam’ (Report, 2019); Human Rights Watch, ‘“Shoot the Traitors” Discrimination Against Muslims under India’s New Citizenship Policy’ (Report, April 2020); Vatsal Raj, ‘The National Register of Citizens and India’s Commitment Deficit to International Law’ LSE Blog (Online, 10 August 2020) <>; Anruadha Sen Mookerjee, ‘How the National Citizenship Registration in Assam is Shaping a New National Identity in India’, The Conversation (Online, 30 August 2019) <>;

[xxxvii] See UN Hight Commissioner for Human Rights, ‘Application for Intervention in Mukharji v Union of India’ (2020); Abhinav Chadrechud, ‘Secularism and the Citizenship Amendment Act’ (2020) 4(2) Indian Law Review 138; Michelle Foster and Adil Hasan Khan, ‘Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 and International Law’ (Briefing Note, 1 April 2021); ‘Citizenship Amendment Bill: India’s New “Anti-Muslim” Law Explained’ BBC (Online, 11 December 2019) <>; Human Rights Watch (n 137).

[xxxviii] UNHCR, ‘Global Trends’ (n 13) Annex, Table 5.

[xxxix] See National Women Commission and Forum for Women, Law and Development, ‘Analysis of Nepalese Citizenship Laws from a Gender Perspective’ (Report, February 2014); Susan Rother, ‘Gender Discrimination in Nepal and How Statelessness Hampers Identity Formation’ (Statelessness working Paper Series No. 2015/02, December 2015); Equal Rights Trust, ‘My Children’s Future: Ending Gender Discrimination in Nationality Laws’ (Report, September 2017); Manjushree Thapa, ‘Women Have No Nationality: Why I Burned My Country’s New Constitution’ The Record (Online, 21 September 2015) <>; Forum for Women, Law and Development, ‘Legal Analysis of Citizenship Law of Nepal’ (Report, 2016); Subin Mulmi and Sara Shneiderman, ‘Citizenship, Gender and Statelessness in Nepal: Before and After the 2015 Constitution’ in Tendayi Bloom, Katherine Tonkiss and Phillip Cole (eds), Understanding Statelessness (Routledge, 2017); Surabhi Pudasaini, ‘Writing Citizenship: Gender Race and Tactical Alliances in Nepal’s Constitutional Drafting’ (2017) 22(1) Studies in Nepali History and Society 85;  Barbara Grassman-Thompson and Dannah Dennis, ‘Citizenship in the name of the Mother: Nationalism, Social Exclusion, and Gender in Contemporary Nepal’ (2017) 25(4) Positions 795; Citizenship Affected People’s Network et al, ‘Joint Submission to the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review 37th Session Third Cycle January/February 2021: Nepal’ (Report, 9 July 2020); Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion and the Citizenship Affected People’s Network, ‘Nepal: Together We Can’ (Report, August 2021).

[xl] See Forum for Women Law and Development, ‘Acquisition of Citizenship Certificate in Nepal: Understanding Trends, Barriers & Impacts’ (Report, February 2014); Tilak Biswakarma, ‘Citizenship and Social Security of Landless Dalits in Nepal’ (2018) 6 Globe: A Journal of Language, Culture and Communication 52; Uddhab Pyakurel, Reproduction of Inequality and Social Exclusion: A Study of Dalits in a Caste Society, Nepal (Springer, 2021)

[xli] See UNHCR, ‘Global Trends 2019’ (n 15); UNHCR, ‘Global Trends 2020’ (n 13). See n 15 and citations therein.

[xlii] See Ghulam Sanai v Assistant Director, National Registration Office [1999] PLD 18 (Pesh.); Nazir (n 114) 5–6.

[xliii] See Tahera Hasan, ‘Minor Aliens’ DAWN (Online, 24 August 2021) <>; Hajira Maryam, ‘Stateless and Helpless: The Plight of Ethnic Bengalis in Pakistan’ Al Jazeera (Online, 29 September 2021) <>.

[xliv] UNHCR, ‘Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2019’ (September 2020) 72;

[xlv] See Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness, Statelessness Network Asia Pacific, Refugee Advice & Casework Service and Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion, ‘Joint Submission to the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review 37th Session, 3rd Cycle: Australia’ (9 July 2020).

[xlvi] UNHCR, ‘Global Trends 2020’ (n 13) Annex, Table 5.

[xlvii] See Robertson and Dale (n 156); See further, Michelle Foster, Jane McAdam and Davina Wadley, ‘The Protection of Stateless Persons in Australian Law: The Rationale for the Statelessness Determination Procedure’ (Pt 1) (2016) 40(2) Melbourne University Law Review 401; Michelle Foster, Jane McAdam and Davina Wadley, ‘The Prevention and Reduction of Statelessness in Australia: An Ongoing Challenge’ (Pt 2) (2016) 40(2) Melbourne University Law Review 456.

[xlviii] See e.g., AL (Myanmar) [2018] NZIPT 801255.

[xlix] UNHCR, ‘Global Trends’ (n 13) Annex, Table 5.

[l] Ibid.

[li] UNHCR, ‘Submission by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Compilation Report Universal Periodic Review: Papua New Guinea’ (Report, 2010); Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, ‘Submission to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Consideration of the Universal Periodic Review of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea during the 25th Session’ (Report, 2015); Jenny Munro, ‘West Papuan Refugees in Papua New Guinea: On the Way to Citizenship?’ (Report 2016/19, State, Society & Governance in Melanesia); Jo Chandler, ‘Refugees on their Own Land: The West Papuans in Limbo in Papua New Guinea’, The Guardian (Online, 1 December 2019) <>; Diana Glazebrook, ‘“If I Stay Here There is Nothing Yet If I Return I do not Know Whether I Will be Safe”: West Papuan Refugee Responses to Papua New Guinea Asylum Policy 1998–2003’ (2004) 17(2) Journal of Refugee Studies 205; Diana Glazebrook, Permissive Residents: West Papuan Refugees Living in Papua New Guinea (ANU Press, 2008); Catherine Scott and Neles Tabay, ‘The West Papua Conflict and its Consequences for the Island of New Guinea: Root Causes and the Campaign for Papua, Land of Peace’ (2005) 94(382) The Round Table 599; Klaus Neumann, ‘Hush-hushing the Whole Matter: The UNHCR, Australia, and West Papuan Refugees’ (2006) 23(1) Refuge 69.

[lii] Stefan Armbruster, ‘Fifty Years in the Making: Refugees in Australia’s First Manus Camp Offered PNG Citizenship’, SBS News (Online, 25 September 2017) <>.

[liii] Lyanne Togiba and Michele Cheng, ‘Life in Limbo: The Manus babies who Face a Stateless Future’, The Guardian (Online, 13 December 2018) <>.

[liv] UNHCR, ‘Global Trends 2020’ (n 13) Annex, Table 1.

[lv] UNHCR, ‘Global Trends 2020’ (n 13) Annex, Table 5.

[lvi] See e.g., Jonathan Simon and Heather Alexander, ‘No Port, No Passport: Why Submerged States Can Have No Nationals’ (2017) 26(2) Washington International law Journal 307; Jan McAdam, Climate Change, Forced Migration and International Law (Oxford University Press, 2012); Jane McAdam et al, International Law and Sea-Level Rise: Forced Migration and Human Rights’ (FNI Report 1/2016, Fridtjof Nansen Institute and the Kaldor Centre for International refugee Law); UNHCR, SFS and IMO, ‘A Toolbox: Planning Relocations to Protect People from Climate and Environmental Change’ (Report, 2017); Barbara Buckinx, Matt Edbrooke and Rana Ibrahem, ‘Self-Determination and Sea-Level Rise’ (Policy Paper, Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, April 2021); Jenny Grote Stoutenburg, ‘When Do States Disappear?’ in Michael B Gerrard and Gregory E Wannier (eds), Threatened Island Nations: Legal Implication of Rising Seas and a Changing Climate (Cambridge University Press, 2013); Maxine A Burkett, ‘The Nation Ex-Situ’ in Michael B Gerrard and Gregory E Wannier (eds), Threatened Island Nations: Legal Implication of Rising Seas and a Changing Climate (Cambridge University Press, 2013); Jennifer Saxon, ‘Disappearing States, Rising Statelessness: The Twin Crises Just Around the Corner’, RLI Blog (Online, 14 December 2020) <>.

[lvii] See n 56 and citations therein, in particular Burkett, The National Ex-Situ (n 56); Simon and Alexander (n 202).