View Full Version : UN calls for citizenship rights for two stateless indian minorities

11-06-2017, 02:31 AM

Calling for immediate action to secure equal nationality rights for all stateless minorities, the United High Commissioner for Refugees on Friday warned in a new report that discrimination, exclusion and persecution are stark realities for many of the world’s stateless minorities.

“Stateless people are just seeking the same basic rights that all citizens enjoy,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said on the launch of the report, This Is Our Home: Stateless minorities and their search for citizenship.

The High Commissioner added that stateless minorities often suffer from entrenched discrimination and a systematic denial of their rights.

The report noted that more than 75% of the world’s known stateless populations belong to minority groups. Left unaddressed, their protracted marginalization can build resentment, increase fear and, in the most extreme cases, lead to instability, insecurity and displacement.

“States must act now and they must act decisively to end statelessness,” Mr. Grandi stressed.

The report, which is based on consultations conducted in May and June 2017 with members of selected stateless people including two India-origin minorities to highlight the issues faced by stateless minorities worldwide.

The two India-origin minorities included the Karana minority in Madagascar. As per the report, they trace their origins to the western provinces of pre-partition India. The most significant wave of migration from India to Madagascar took place in the latter half of the nineteenth century, when seafaring trade on the Indian Ocean became more competitive.

The report says that there is no reliable data concerning the exact number of Karana on Madagascar, but it is popularly believed that this Indian-origin minority numbers some 20,000, adding that the actual figure might be significantly higher.

The Karana were generally not given citizenship when Madagascar won independence from France in 1960 because they were not considered to be ethnically Malagasy.

The other India-origin stateless minority group is the Roma minorities of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The report notes that the origins of the Romani people can be traced back to northern India, from where they migrated between the 13th and 15th centuries to Europe. From the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Roma form the largest group among the ethnic minorities that are stateless or at risk of statelessness.

As per official figures, there are 54,000 Roma in the country, but unofficial estimates range from 110,000 to 260,000. The Roma have a unique ethnic identity and speak the Romani language, which distinguishes them from the majority Macedonian-speaking population.

Last year, while inaugurating the three-day International Roma Conference and Cultural Festival 2016 in New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj described the people of the Roma community as children of India, who migrated and lived in challenging circumstances in foreign lands for centuries while retaining their Indian identity, Daily Pioneer reported.

Bobby Martnen
12-29-2017, 12:54 AM
One of the few good things the UN has done