Oftentimes in the news, we hear of atrocities being committed against minority and marginalized ethnic groups across the world. We see pictures and videos of thousands of refugees in camps, unable to go back to their homes because of persecution, violence and war. Unfortunately, that is often where the news-story ends, with little to no closure or future hope for justice for people so marginalized in our world.
What happens to people who truly lose their country when they are forced out?
This Fall, Iona Prep's Human Rights Club hosted a guest speaker, Sangita Bajulaiye, a Human Rights Attorney and member of the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI). Sangita was visiting the United States to speak about Statelessness and shared her research, experience and stories with students from the Human Rights Club.
Essentially, individuals or groups (such as the Rohinga people), when forced out of their country for various reasons, can lose citizenship in their own country, along with privileges that we often take for granted, such as the ability to get a birth or marriage certificate, a passport, open a bank account, vote, own property etc.
Sangita's work has also included her contributions in ISI's publishing of a book, "The Girl Who Lost Her Country." This book provides information about Statelessness through the eyes of Neha, a Nepalese girl who lost her statehood. Sangita also spoke to Iona Prep's Lower School students and provided students with copies of the book so that they could learn more about Statelessness and how to advocate for those affected by it.
To learn more about Statelessness and the ISI, please click here
To learn how you can obtain copies of "The Girl Who Lost Her Country," email firstname.lastname@example.org