Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons

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Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons
Stateless Persons Convention.png
States parties and signatories to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. States parties are dark blue; non-states parties that have signed the Convention are light blue
Signed28 September 1954 (1954-09-28)
LocationNew York City, United States
Effective6 June 1960 (1960-06-06)
Condition6 ratifications
DepositarySecretary-General of the United Nations

The Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons is a 1954 United Nations multilateral treaty that aims to protect stateless individuals.

Surrounding events[edit]

The United Nations Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights were approved on 10 December 1948. Of significance, the Declaration at Article 15 affirms that:

  1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.
  2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

The Convention relating to the Status of Refugees was promulgated on 28 July 1951. Despite an original intention, it did not include any content about the status of stateless persons and there was no protocol regarding measures to effect the reduction of statelessness.

On 26 April 1954, ECOSOC adopted a Resolution to convene a Conference of Plenipotentiaries to "regulate and improve the status of stateless persons by an international agreement".

The ensuing Conference adopted the Convention on 28 September 1954.

The Convention entered into force on 6 June 1960.

Key substantive content of convention[edit]

Article 1
The Convention applies to stateless persons under the protection of the UNHCR but not to those under the protection of other UN agencies (i.e., UNWRA). It does not apply to persons with rights and obligations acknowledged by their country of residence as indistinguishable from those attached to the possession of that country's nationality. It does not apply to war criminals or to the perpetrators of crimes against humanity or against peace. It does not apply to those who have demonstrated themselves to have been enemies of international peace and co-operation.
Article 7
Contracting States shall accord to stateless persons the same treatment as is accorded to aliens generally.
Article 8
No "exceptional measures" to be taken against stateless persons in a Contracting State because of their former nationality.
Article 9
Provisional measures affecting stateless persons may be taken in time of war or grave emergency where national security is at issue.
Article 10
Forcible removal of a stateless person from territory of a Contracting State due to Second World War to count as residence in that territory.
Article 11
Admonition of States to show sympathy to stateless seaman regularly engaged on ships of that State's flag
Article 12
Personal status (e.g. marital status) of a stateless person to be governed by the law of his/her domicile ahead of the law of his/her residence.
Article 13
Rights to property to be no less than accorded to aliens generally.
Article 14
Intellectual property rights to be no less than accorded by a Contracting State to its own nationals.
Article 15
Right of association to be no less than accorded by each Contracting State to aliens generally.
Article 16
Stateless persons not to be discriminated against in providing "security for costs and eventual penalty", or otherwise by courts in Contracting States.
Articles 17–19
Stateless persons to be treated at least as favourably as aliens generally with regard to participation in wage-earning employment.
Articles 20–23
Stateless persons to be treated no less favourably than nationals with respect to rationing, housing, public education, and public relief.
Article 24
Extension of Articles 20–23 to labour legislation and social security.
Article 27
Upon request, Contracting States shall issue travel and identity documents to stateless persons within their territory.
Article 29
No discrimination against stateless persons in fiscal charges.
Article 30
Stateless persons to be permitted to transfer their assets to the place of their resettlement.
Article 31
Stateless persons not to be expelled except on grounds of national security or public order.
Article 32
Contracting States shall facilitate assimilation and naturalization of stateless persons.
Article 34
Interpretation disputes between State parties to be finally referable to the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
Remaining Clauses
Territorial application; federal clause; signature, ratification and entry into force.

State parties[edit]

As of January 2022, the United Nations, the depository of the convention, lists 96 parties to the Convention; one states (Holy See) has signed the convention, but have not ratified it.[1] The 96 parties are: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eswatini, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kiribati, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, South Korea, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Togo, Turkey, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Madagascar denounced its accession made in 1962, effective 2 April 1966. The United Kingdom extended the convention to British Hong Kong, and China has declared that the convention continues to apply to Hong Kong post-1997.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Status of Treaties: Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons". United Nations Treaty Collection. United Nations. 14 April 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2018.

External links[edit]