Reconceiving statelessness : an analysis of potential solutions to realise the right to a legal identity in Europe
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Stateless people face daily challenges in their life: Due to the national vs. non-national dichotomy the access to many human rights, e.g. education, health care, freedom of movement or the right to vote, is denied without holding a nationality. They are not recognised as a member by any state and subsequently live excluded at the edge of societies. As nationality conferral touches upon the highly sensitive matter of state discretion, the current international efforts to end statelessness by means of a merely legal ‘one size fits all’ approach might be off target. In addition, the conventional thin notion of de jure statelessness disregards the complexity of statelessness and the need to adequately address all its varying dimensions, including de facto statelessness. Hence, this present thesis analyses potential solutions to protect the rights of stateless people in Europe beyond the dilemma of reduction. Given the recent refugee crisis the thesis particularly considers statelessness in migratory context. Examining approaches from five different perspectives - Human Rights, Humanitarian Action, Sustainable Development, Technology and Praxis at domestic levels – this thesis argues for a new understanding of statelessness and a paradigm shift that supersedes the necessity of nationality by realising in lieu the right to a legal identity.