There is a Part 1 to this piece.
Or read the whole Ending Statelessness or Ending Statehood?
As I read, I started chatting with ENS, and UNHCR too. So here is my one-way conversation with them, through their letter:
ENS: There is an urgent need for European States to act to prevent children from growing up without a nationality.
G: There is an urgent need for World States to act to prevent babies growing up into a nationality.
ENS: The majority of Europe’s stateless kids were born in Europe; many of them would not remain stateless today if all European countries had in place legal safeguards against childhood statelessness as required by international law.
G: It is outrageous and unacceptable that a person is not considered a person if s/he does not have a state to belong to. It is outrageous and unacceptable that one needs to have a nationality in order to get an education, health care, or to satisfy any other basic human need thereof. This is all the more so in our very globalized world. Yes, there are many nationalists and fascists, many xenophobes, but there are also many humanists who consider themselves as “only human” and see other people as “people” above any other label. International law should safeguard against discrimination by statehood, which unfortunately is the status quo in the world we live.
ENS: The shocking reality is that more than half the countries in Europe are failing to meet these obligations, thereby denying a nationality to thousands of children across the continent.
G: The shocking reality is that almost all the world seems to deny this reality i.e. That we are all humans. The powers that be, want to dictate and define us according to our nationalities and statehood, confine us by some arbitrary lines that were drawn by a bloody war or by bloody politics. This belief in states is so prevalent and so strong that almost nobody even questions it.
ENS: The European Network on Statelessness urges all European states to:
* Accede to the UN 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness;
* Address gaps in their laws and practice in order to implement comprehensive safeguards to identify and grant nationality to children born on their territory who would otherwise be stateless, as soon as possible after birth;
* Ensure access to free and universal birth registration in order to prevent statelessness.
G: I, Gülin De Vincentiis, urge all World states to:
* Drop all their conventions defining people by states, ie. Remove the senseless, the unacceptable, the ridiculous definition of “Stateless Persons” from your definitions, laws, rules etc. Remove “Statefull” Persons as well along with it.
* Address gaps in your laws and practice in order to implement a world where humans will be humans wherever they might have been born on this planet we live.
* Ensure access to free and universal education, health care to provide basic human needs in order to prevent the troubles you cause humans for being born in a “wrong” place to “wrong” people, the wrong being defined by your, sorry to say, “stupid” rules and regulations.
Why is This Important?
ENS: Most people take their nationality for granted; they do not think about how or why they got it, what it allows them to do or what would be different if they had none.
G: True. Yes, people do not think about why they've got a nationality. WHY? Why do we get a nationality? So that we can be bound and be punished by the laws of the state if we do any wrong? Or so that we know who needs to take care of us, educate us, provide for us in case of need? Seriously... Why do we really get a nationality? For me, there is no reasonable answer to that question. The fact is, we do not need a nationality in order to exist. So we should not be needing it in order to survive in this world. So states should at least remove their obligations on us people to belong to one of them. They should stop forcing us to belong to a state just in order to live a decent life.
ENS: Sadly, this is not the case for thousands of children in Europe who are growing up without nationality. For those affected this can mean missing out on healthcare, education and other opportunities, as well as result in unfulfilled potential and a sense of never quite belonging. It brings hardship and anguish to children and their parents alike.
G: Sure. The way the current society, states and countries are set up, statelessness affects people in a very negative, adverse way. As statehood is fiction, a state/a status they define us into, it should be removed from the international vocabulary. We all naturally belong to a family, a group, or humanity. We do not need any more identification dividing us into boxes.
They didn't let my daughter go into the playground at IKEA without an ID card. What did they do when I showed them? They just leaned over pretending to look. They didn't take a note of the name, the birth date or the photo. It's just the gesture itself that satisfies them. It's obvious my daughter falls within the age group allowed. Her name is the name I tell IKEA, it's the name my daughter responds to when called out. I could have picked her up easily, they would not have confused her either. It is the most stupid and ridiculous thing to ask for ID's in every place you go. You buy a fridge, they ask for your ID number; you buy a chewing-gum, they'll soon be asking to see your dental certificate... approved by a certified MD! Yes, all this paperwork brings unnecessary hardship and anguish to children, their parents, to humans in general. Even though I have all the proper papers, I always feel stressed when I'm about to go anywhere.
ENS: There are a number of ways in which a child could end up without a nationality. Sometimes statelessness is passed on from stateless parents to their children. Other times, a child fails to acquire a nationality at birth because of a conflict between different nationality laws, or may not be able to prove their legal identity because they were not issued with a birth certificate. Statelessness can also be a problem for some children born to refugees. It can also result from international surrogacy, adoption or where children have been abandoned at birth.
G: Saying “a child could end up without a nationality” is like a child ending up without permission to breathe. This is against all natural law, logic, fairness and justice. Passing statelessness from parents to children is senseless as passing rulership from parent to child. Having to prove your “legal identity” is ridiculous while you obviously exist as flesh and bone in front of other people who have “legal identities”. A birth certificate is not what makes you exist, the fact that you were born does. There is no reason why we cannot name ourselves at any stage we like, like the Indians acquiring a name after they overcome an obstacle, accomplish a feat. All this identity craze is for having control over people. And I agree that people and masses are difficult to deal with and some kind of control would be nice. But then, the people who have the power of control need to be controlled too. As we can see looking at the state of the world, they've made a mess out of it and are making it worse with every passing day. After all, they're the ones who created this thing called statehood, thus all the troubles caused by statelessness.
ENS: No child should be left without nationality. It is a problem that is entirely solvable. UN conventions provide a clear legal framework to define and tackle the issue. By establishing safeguards in nationality laws to ensure that any child born on the territory of a country will be entitled to nationality if they would otherwise be left stateless, we could end childhood statelessness within a generation!
G: Yes. Everybody should be left without nationality. Or to state it in other words, Nobody should have a nationality. It is a problem that is entirely solvable. We can re-write all conventions. Instead of abiding by old conventions written by different people from a different era, we can sit down, define and write down a brand-new set of conventions to make the many wrongs of today right. By abolishing nationality laws, we could end childhood statelessness or statelessness in general be it child or adult. We could end the problems statelessness causes to people who have no fault. We can do this -not within a generation,- even within a decade!
If there is a will...
There is a way....
To Be Continued...
Or read the whole Ending Statelessness or Ending Statehood?