Statelessness and Protection: The Case of Rohingya

  • Rachel Irene D’Silva
  • Sudeep Basu
Keywords: Rohingya refugees, stateless people, systematic discrimination, state protection, global action plan


The term Rohingya represents statelessness and human rights crisis. Since Myanmar’s
Citizenship Act of 1982 stripped them of their citizenship, they have suffered severe
discrimination, brutal persecution, and prolonged statelessness, both inside and outside
Myanmar. Rohingya fled military clearance operations in Myanmar and were turned away
by the neighboring countries. Those who crossed the borders faced detention and
persecution in host countries. This case study was conducted to examine the factors
that led to the mass exile of Rohingya, the challenges they face in their country of arrival,
and the possible ways to end the statelessness of Rohingya. The study analysed the
problems of Rohingya refugees marked by severe insecurity, poverty, illiteracy,
documentation requirements, endless discrimination, and detention. The results revealed
that the Rohingya lack state protection because there are insufficient policies at the
national and international levels to ensure their inclusion in the country of arrival.
Furthermore, it discussed the need for an inclusive political process in Myanmar.