The International Observatory on Statelessness

IOS Team

Prof. Brad K. Blitz (London, UK)

Brad has recently been appointed Professor of International Politics and Deputy Dean of the Law School at Middlesex University London. He was formerly Professor of Human and Political Geography at Kingston University, London and  Jean Monnet Chair of the Political Geography of Europe at Oxford Brookes University. He received his Ph.D. in International Development from Stanford University and has published several studies on citizenship, statelessness, post-conflict development and minorities and human rights. He has served as a consultant to international agencies including the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Bank, Council of Europe, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as several governments. Recent publications include War and Change in the Balkans: Nationalism, Conflict and Cooperation with Cambridge University Press, 2006; Statelessness and Citzenship: a Comparative Study on the Benefits of Nationality, Edward Elgar Publishing 2011 (with Maureen Lynch) and Statelessess in the European Union: Displaced, Undocumented and Unwanted, Cambridge University Press, 2011 (with Caroline Sawyer). He is completing a book on citizenship and mobility for Edward Elgar Publishing; recent articles have appeared in Journal of Human Rights, Citizenship Studies, Journal of Refugee Studies, Political Studies, Mobilities, Europe-Asia Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and Human Rights Review.

Greg Constantine (Bangkok, Thailand)

Greg is an award-winning photojournalist who has created a multimedia resource around his project Nowhere People a comparative investigation on the struggles of stateless ethnic minority groups in Asia. His work has been exhibited at the National Academy of Art in Bangladesh, at the Angkor Photo Festival in Cambodia, and at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand in Bangkok and the US House of Congress. His work on stateless people led to two nominations for UNICEF Photographer of the Year in 2006 and 2007. In February of 2007, his work on the Rohingya and Bihari was recognized in the 64th Pictures of the Year International (POYi) photojournalism contest with two awards. In 2008, he was named the winner of the Award for Excellence in Feature Photography in the 2008 Society of Publishers of Asia Awards Most recently he received the Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Journalism on Asia for his photographs on Cyclone Nargis in Burma which were published in the International Herald Tribune and New York Times in autumn 2008 (See. www.gregconstantine.com).

Dr. Rajith Lakshman

Rajith is a researcher based at the Institute for Development Studies, Sussex and former senior lecturer of the Department of Economics of the University of Colombo. He has also worked as a deputy director at the Secretariat for the Coordination of the Peace Process (SCOPP) in Sri Lanka. Rajith received his PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia and the BA from the University of Colombo. Though his doctoral work concerned international financial markets and their inter-linkages, his more recent work has been on economic analysis of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). He has several international and local publications to his credit and most of these are on IDP issues in Sri Lanka. Recent publications include articles in Disasters, the Journal of Refugee Studies and the Journal of Disaster Studies, Policy and Management. In 2013, he was awarded a grant by the IDMC for a study on Internal displacement and urban violence: A longitudinal study linking violence, inequality and poverty.

Dr. Maureen Lynch (Washington, DC, USA)

Maureen is the former Senior Associate on Stateless Initiatives at Refugees International and an Honorary Research Associate of Oxford Brookes University. Her current work on the global issue of statelessness is based on her reports published by Refugees International; these include Lives on Hold: the Human Cost of Statelessness; Buried Alive: Stateless Kurds in Syria and Citizens of Nowhere: Stateless Biharis in Bangladesh. Her current project follows on from an earlier study Forced Back: International Refugee Protection in Theory and Practice, about refugees who survived forcible returns from China, India, Tanzania, Panama and Thailand. Since 1999, she has conducted assessment missions to more than 25 countries including Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Haiti, Ingushetia, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Syria and Zimbabwe. Prior to joining Refugees International, she worked for the UNHCR and the US Committee for Refugee and Immigrants. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science from Oregon State University and has published on issues of statelessness, displacement, immigration, and child development. Recent publications include Statelessness and Citzenship: a Comparative Study on the Benefits of Nationality, Edward Elgar Publishing 2011 (with Brad Blitz).

Korir Sing'Oei (Nairobi, Kenya)

Abraham Korir Sing'Oei is a human rights lawyer based in Nairobi where he specialises in minority rights. He is the co-founder of the Centre for Minority Rights and Development (CEMIRIDE), an NGO that works for the promotion and protection of minority rights in all development processes. He works particularly with the Nubian, Ogiek, Endoros, Somali, Maasai and Batwa communities. He has represented indigenous and minority groups at the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and was a delegate at the National Constitutional Conference in Kenya and an advisor to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. He has acted as a consultant to Minority Rights Group International, Witness, the European Commission and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (Banjul).

Dr. Kelly Staples (Leicester, UK)

Kelly has recently joined the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Leicester, having previously lectured in politics and human rights at Kingston University, London. She was awarded a Ph.D in Politics by the University of Manchester for a thesis using statelessness to explore the limits of membership in international political theory and practice. Her continuing research interest is in the limits and potential of international protection in cases of statelessness, and she is currently completing a book on research monograph substantially based on her PhD, provisionally titled 'Reappraising Political Theory: The Challenges of Statelessness'. An article, 'Statelessness, Sentimentality and Human Rights: a critique of Rorty’s liberal human rights culture', is forthcoming in Philosophy and Social Criticism.