The problem of statelessness is a global, growing challenge. The status, rights and protection of stateless persons constitute a theoretical as well as practical problematique. It is especially important in the context of emerging national sovereignty dynamics. The international legal regime has tried to give the issue a fair hearing with mixed results. Statelessness – a condition where a person is deprived of national status is the denial of a peremptory human right imperative. According to United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), there exist nearly 10 million stateless persons in the world inspite of a strong international legal regime to protect and promote human rights. The mounting problem of stateless Rohingyas, illegal immigrants in Assam, Windrush immigrants in UK, Guantanamo detainees, stateless persons in Brunei, the Haitians in the Dominican Republic, Palestinians in Syria and Lebanon are some examples of the aggravating problem of statelessness.
This seminar reframes the debate on the problem of statelessness with an epistemic critique of the established notion of statelessness with an ontological framework. The framework can perhaps be best described as a ‘logical and practical framework’ that provides an engaging invitation to join a structured discourse that seeks to find solutions to the problem of statelessness on the merits of a systemic approach. How do people become stateless? How can people become stateful? The approach contests the traditional supposition that statelessness is primarily a legal problem. By reframing the legal conceptualization of the problem, the seminar seeks to render a supra-legal corrective that can yield the best possible solution through the combinatorial possibilities which the ontology articulates. The seminar is intended for academicians/faculty members, research scholars, government officials, bureaucrats, policy makers, and students working in the domain of human rights, refugees, stateless persons and citizenship discourse. A forthcoming paper on the supra-legal perspective is available by request from the organizers of the conference.