Statelessness and Mass Atrocities: Cases for Concern

This paper will focus on how statelessness is the harbinger of mass atrocity crimes, namely genocide and crimes against humanity. In line with the panel's theme – the revocation of citizenship has caused distrust to develop and deepen divisions within society because governments have successfully been able to create “foreigners” as a result of statelessness. These labels have allowed ostracization of minority groups, which in turn have fueled violence against these particular groups. The presenter will focus on three case studies, the Rohingya of Burma, the people of Assam, India, and the Moken of Thailand and Burma. Statelessness in these instances have allowed perpetrators of mass atrocities to commit crimes, with impunity, and undetected many times. Despite the two international conventions dedicated to statelessness, this presentation will delve why citizenship is the key to providing protections for vulnerable groups from mass atrocities.