Abandoned by the world

Stateless people often have minimal, if any, access to basic rights

Everyone has the right to a nationality, according to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But it is estimated that more than 11 million people in over 70 countries can be classed as “stateless”.

The UN defines a stateless person as someone who is not a national of any state under its laws. That means they have no citizenship, no passport, and are without recourse to representation by a nation or government.

Most are not classed as refugees and cannot claim asylum because they are not fleeing persecution or have never even left their long-term homes.

Stateless people experience many of the same economic and social disadvantages as slaves in the ancient world. They often have minimal, if any, access to basic rights such as education and healthcare.


Al Jazeera looks at the plight of stateless peoples around the world.

Hill tribes caught without a country

Stranded in Bangladesh

Decades in limbo in Lebanon

Palestinians unwelcome in Canada

Kurdish dreams of independence

Europe’s Roma outsiders

Kenya’s Nubians fight for their rights

Photographing the ‘nowhere people’



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