The International Observatory on Statelessness


Individuals of Haitian and Colombian origin are the largest groups of concern in the Americas. As many as one million persons of Haitian origin reside in the Dominican Republic, but children of Haitian migrants are often denied citizenship and excluded from public services. Children of persons of Haitian origin in the Bahamas and other countries in the Caribbean reportedly face similar restrictions. Undocumented persons of Colombian origin have no legal protection in Ecuador, and such persons have faced obstacles registering their children in Panama and Venezuela. Laws with arguably unrealistic requirements, such as short time frames or disparate sets of requirements for persons originating from different countries, have made citizenship access more difficult for some persons in countries such as the Bahamas, Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

Regarding positive developments, in 2008, Canada began welcoming 100 Vietnamese families marooned in the Philippines for almost 20 years. Until then, no country would accept them following the end of the Vietnam War. Since 2005, Belize and Brazil have ratified both statelessness conventions.