For example, in Australian nationality law , a child born in the country acquires citizenship if any parent is a citizen. However, despite this, many cases remained ambiguous or uncovered primarily due to the fact that a person did not always receive the nationality of its parents, or was born in a certain place and not always provided citizenship of that state. It received the Nobel Peace Prize in Their Nansen passports , designed in by founder Fridtjof Nansen , were internationally recognized identity cards first issued by the League of Nations to stateless refugees. In they were honored by governments in 52 countries and were the first refugee travel documents.

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The reduction and elimination of statelessness, however, required further international cooperation and would need national laws to be harmonised. Hudson, a United States lawyer and former judge of the Permanent Court of International Justice, as Special Rapporteur for the study of nationality including statelessness Yearbook of the International Law Commission, , vol.

I, pp. II, p. The background materials to the work of the ILC included a note prepared by the United Nations Secretariat on the elimination of statelessness Yearbook of the International Law Commission, , vol. II doc. II, doc. Whether the revealed usage went further to the point of obligation was a moot point, however, while in the matter of naturalization — the conferment of nationality after birth — no rules of international law could be deduced, other than that there should be a personal or territorial link between the State and the individual concerned ibid.

The Special Rapporteur identified statelessness as arising, at birth, because of the inconsistent operation of the principles of jus soli and jus sanguinis; and later, because of conflicting national laws, voluntary acts of the individual, unilateral acts by the State, and territorial changes.

Reducing or eliminating statelessness therefore meant focusing on causes, and these suggested that the answer lay in the adoption of two rules: 1 if no other nationality is acquired at birth, the individual should acquire the nationality of the State in whose territory he or she is born; and 2 loss of nationality after birth should be conditional on the acquisition of another nationality.

However, the Special Rapporteur did not consider that States were then prepared to accept these principles. Initial Discussions in the International Law Commission Discussions during the first meetings of the Commission confirmed how divisive were the issues.

Some ILC members stressed the sovereignty and internal jurisdiction dimensions to nationality, and considered that the State could not be denied the right to deprive of their nationality anyone who had put themselves outside their national community.

Other members stressed that, while deprivation should not be imposed as a penalty, nationality was nevertheless a privilege not to be accorded unless there were a real link between individual and State. Others agreed, while noting also that approaches to the acquisition of nationality transcended purely legal principles.

Yearbook of the International Law Commission, , vol. Manley O. The drafts were nevertheless amended and adopted on first reading, and sent to Governments for comment. At its sixth session in , the Commission reviewed the observations of Governments, many of which simply reiterated their view that the proposed texts were incompatible with existing legislation.

It redrafted some of the articles, however, adopted final drafts of the two conventions, and submitted them to the General Assembly Yearbook of the International Law Commission, , vol. The Commission indicated that it would be for the General Assembly to consider which of the two draft conventions it preferred — that on elimination, which imposed stricter obligations, or that with the more modest aim of simply reducing statelessness Yearbook of the International Law Commission, , vol.

In resolution IX of 4 December , the General Assembly expressed its desire that an international conference of plenipotentiaries be convened as soon as at least twenty States had communicated their willingness to participate to the Secretary-General. Also at the sixth session, the Special Rapporteur introduced two working papers on present statelessness, one each on elimination and reduction Yearbook of the International Law Commission, , vol.

The Conference decided to use the draft convention on the reduction of statelessness as the basis for discussion, and focused on provisions aimed at reducing statelessness at birth.

Once again, fundamental differences were revealed between States which favoured the principle of jus soli, and those which opted for jus sanguinis. Whereas endorsement and acceptance of the former would have stopped many instances of original statelessness at source, consensus was missing and the final compromise combined elements of both principles.

In accordance with article 18, the Convention entered into force on 13 December Article 1, for example, obliges a Contracting State to grant its nationality to a person born in its territory who would otherwise be stateless, although the State may attach conditions to the grant, such as age of application, habitual residence, not having been convicted for an offence against national security, or sentenced on any criminal charge to imprisonment for five years.

The limiting conditions do not apply, however, in the case of a child born in wedlock in the territory of a Contracting State, where the mother has the nationality of that State; in such cases, the child shall acquire that nationality at birth, if otherwise he or she would be stateless.

The Convention also attempts to settle a variety of incidental problems, such as the nationality of foundlings article 2: continuing the principle of jus soli already established in the Hague Convention ; and of those born on board ships or aircraft article 3. It seeks to minimise the possibility of loss of nationality resulting in statelessness on the occasion of change of civil status, including marriage, termination of marriage, legitimation or adoption articles 5 and 6.

In other circumstances, loss of nationality is to be conditional on the possession or acquisition of another nationality, both where that may otherwise occur by operation of law article 6 , or by reason of the voluntary acts of the individual, such as renunciation article 7.

In principle, deprivation of nationality resulting in statelessness is now prohibited by article 8, but subject to a variety of exceptions, including, in the case of naturalized individuals, residence abroad for seven years or more, misrepresentation or fraud in acquisition; or, if the Contracting State has made the appropriate declaration at the time of signature, accession or ratification, where the person concerned has been disloyal or otherwise conducted him- or herself in a manner prejudicial to the vital interests of the State.

Deprivation of nationality on racial, ethnic, religious or political grounds, however, is prohibited without exception article 9. At one time, the ILC had favoured the idea of both a protecting agency for stateless persons, and a tribunal to decide upon their claims. Implications and Later Developments Important as are the principles set out in the Convention, what finally counts is the practice of States; at 23 August the Convention had attracted just thirty-eight ratifications.

However, the content of this Convention clearly reflects and consolidates basic human rights principles, such as the right to a nationality and the right not to be arbitrarily deprived thereof, which are found in article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 5 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, article 24, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and articles 7 and 8 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Related Materials A. Legal Instruments.


Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness




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