Hindus have asked Europe to work aggressively to end statelessness and improve the plight of stateless who suffer rejection day after day.
According to reports, hundreds of thousands of Europeans, including many children, are stateless. Statelessness is more prevalent amongst the most excluded and the poorest. Many European Roma (Gypsies) are victims of statelessness for no fault of theirs.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said the issue of statelessness in Europe should be urgently addressed. The stateless in Europe need to be protected from severe and continuous violation of their human rights, he said.
Mr. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that access of stateless to health services, employment, education, property ownership and travel was severely restricted and they faced detention and inability to obtain identity papers. They are denied the most basic of rights and are vulnerable to trafficking, he said.
Leaders of various religions/denominations should also come forward and advocate on behalf of the stateless and highlight their plight, Mr. Zed stated.
European countries, Mr. Zed said, should reach out to the vulnerable groups like Roma and make sure all birth registrations are done immediately and citizenship automatically granted at birth.
They should carve out administrative procedures for all stateless persons to acquire nationality and follow directives of various international conventions on statelessness, Mr. Zed said.
Instead of blaming “others” like parents, other countries, stateless themselves and history, European nations should urgently address statelessness and thus put an end to the sufferings of those affected, Mr. Zed added.