Research Tilburg Law School

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Newly published article: 'Solving statelessness: Interpreting the right to nationality'

Newly published article titled 'Solving statelessness: Interpreting the right to nationality', published by the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights. Written by Ms. Caia Vlieks, Professor Ernst Hirsch Ballin, and Ms. Maria Jose Recalde Vela.

Newly published article titled 'Solving statelessness: Interpreting the right to nationality', published by the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights. Written by Ms. Caia Vlieks, Professor Ernst Hirsch Ballin, and Ms. Maria Jose Recalde Vela. The article examines what is necessary to solve statelessness in a sustainable manner that enhances the enjoyment of human rights. It does so by interpreting the right to nationality using three lenses through which the meaning of a response to statelessness can be better understood. It draws on human rights standards and democratic principles to comment on the traditional understanding of nationality, which gives States discretion over granting and withholding nationality.

The three lenses used in this article to explore the concept of nationality are the idea of the right to be a citizen, that of one’s “own country”, and the right to an “effective” nationality. These three lenses present complementary views of what nationality means and how it relates to solving statelessness. Taken together they make clear that any real solution to statelessness requires more than the acquisition of “a” nationality. If we are to solve statelessness, we need to move beyond a State-centric understanding of the right to nationality to an understanding of nationality as the content of a human right to citizenship. What is needed is a nationality that represents a meaningful connection between a person and a State that enables the person involved to actively enjoy the rights attached to a nationality.

Read the article