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Oxford Paper Questions Whether Citizenship Will Benefit Rohingya

“The pre-colonial concepts of identity and the subsequent Burmanisation of the  national identity paved the way for discriminatory legislation as well as state-sponsored and  civilian human rights abuses. “

“Citizenship as a legal status, in and of itself, is not the answer to the Rohingya crisis,  unless these accompanying issues are also taken into consideration. Citizenship for the Rohingya means more than their lack of birth certificates, their names being struck off family  lists, and their lack of identification and travel documents. The concept means being born as less than equal, being an outsider in the only country one has ever known, not being able to  access protection and entitlements from the one’s country, and living under constant  subjection to state-sponsored and communal discrimination and persecution. Citizenship, in  this sense, is a way of categorising the Rohingya as the “Other’.”

Oxford University Centre on Migration, Policy and Society
Working Paper No. 107
University of Oxford, 2013
Is Citizenship the Answer?
Constructions of belonging
and exclusion for the stateless
Rohingya of Burma
Cresa L. Pugh
This paper is also published as IMI Working Paper No. 7

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