Statelessness and Roma Communities in the Czech Republic: Competing Theories of State Compliance ROBYN LINDE* 1. Introduction The system of national sovereignty, underpinning international relations in the mod- ern world, is one wherein individuals exercise their rights and obligations primarily through citizenship in a state. Holding citizenship in a state willing to extend rights and protections is therefore the definitive factor in the exercise of rights, especially human rights. When an individual does not possess membership in any state, that individual is considered stateless. Statelessness is a problem that affects millions of people, and although the exact number of stateless people is unknown, Refugees International estimates it to exceed eleven million. 1 While stateless people are found throughout the world, the largest numbers reside in the former Soviet Union, East and South Asia, especially Thailand, Nepal, Burma and Sri Lanka, as well as in Europe, the Great Lakes region of Africa, and the Middle East. 2 Statelessness has multiple causes; among the most common are intentional exclu- sions that limit an individual’s citizenship to that of his or her parents, to place of birth, or to a conflict between these alternative means of citizenship conferral. States may also
International Journal on Minority and Group Rights – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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