“There is no home for me in this world”: States of statelessness and the need to deterritorialize human rights

Maria-Carolina Cambre


There are millions of people in the world today who ‘reside’ in no place. Technically, though, no place simply means a non-existent place, which by extension annuls the existence of these people. May of these are from areas where they not recognized as citizens, and from where they have been uprooted because of war and related upheavals. In these instances, these have no other choice but to seek other places to live. It is indeed, when the doors are shut and they are not accepted in the new places that they become denationalized and trapped in ‘no-man’s land.’ Such acts of exclusion are dehumanizing, painful and should not be accepted in our world. In this paper, I argue that this widespread problem exists due to lack of basic citizenship and human rights possibilities. The problem is also attached to specific understandings of sovereignty and human rights where, in the case of a conflict, for example, whatever the nation-state almost always takes precedence over the fundamental rights of the individual and/or groups.  Indeed, this problematic reality is discursively (as well as pragmatically) located within the human rights, and related governance debates, which always display some form of conceptual and practical disconnect between the nation-state’s right to refuse entry, and an individual’s right for asylum.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18733/C30596