The International Observatory on Statelessness

Maldives

According to the U.S. Department of State, the Maldivian constitutional assembly has passed an amendment providing that if a Maldivian citizen converts to any other religion besides Islam than it is an automatic violation of Shari’a law, resulting in loss of citizenship. No cases have been reported as of yet, but the law’s implementation will have serious repercussions for Maldivian Christians. As an island state, the very existence of which is threatened by rising oceans due to climate change, the Maldives is undertaking efforts to find another state to adopt them as citizens. The UN Human Rights Council commissioned a study on the impact of climate change and human rights, which may address the potential loss of nationality of some 360,000 inhabitants on 12,000 islands that make up the Maldives.