After lingering in a foreign land for 16 years more than 2000 Vietnamese refugees' dreams of resettlement are renewed.
In 2005, a spark of hope came when the U.S. immigration officials returned to Manila to review the cases of over 2000 Vietnamese refugees who spent over 17 years in the Philippines waiting for resettlement. They have been living in the Philippines without legal status, ownership nor employment rights. While nervously waiting for a judgment day, the STATELESS Vietnamese hung on the hope of finding a permanent home
Statelessness refers to the condition of an individual who is not considered as a national by any State. To be stateless is to be without nationality or citizenship. There is no legal bond of nationality between the state and the individual. Stateless people face numerous difficulties in their daily lives: they can lack access to health care, education, property rights and the ability to move freely. They are also vulnerable to arbitrary treatment and crimes like trafficking. Their marginalization can create tensions in society and lead to instability at an international level, including, in extreme cases, conflict and displacement
UNHCR estimates that about 12 million people are stateless in dozens of developed and developing countries around the world, though the exact numbers are not known. They are to be found in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. In the Middle East and other parts of the world gender-discriminatory legislation continues to create risks of statelessness. In Africa, some of the Nubian people do not enjoy citizenship rights in Kenya. And across the continent, lack of clarity on their nationality status affects large numbers of people in Côte d'Ivoire. In Europe, the break-up of the Soviet Union and the Yugoslav Federation in the 1990s led to statelessness in the new countries that emerged. Statelessness is also an issue of UNHCR concern in the Caribbean. There have been some success stories in recent years in Asia, where millions have received nationality in Bangladesh and Nepal. But even though Nepal achieved in 2007 the largest reduction of statelessness the world has seen, the Himalayan nation still hosts about 800,000 people whose nationality is not confirmed and who cannot access important government services without a citizenship certificate.