ETHNIC CLEANSING OFJEWS AND OTHER MINORITIES IN NAZI GERMANY ACTS NAME The Numberg laws, also known as the anti semitic laws were introduced inNazi Germany in September, 1935 which barred all the Jewish members of thecountry of their right to citizenship as per the Reich citizenship law. Thislaw stated that only those of German origin or related blood were eligible tobe Reich citizens and the Jewish population were forbidden from marrying orhaving any kind of sexual relationship with the so called German race.Supporting ordinances and state legislations to these laws also deprived the Jewsof their political rights and civil rights. Prior to this laws their businesseswere attacked and all the books authored by Jews or any book on Jewishtraditions and culture were burnt on a large scale. Similar fate was met by the Romapeople, also known as gypsies who were considered to be an inferior race by theNazis. They were also stripped off their citizenship and many of them wereincarcerated along with the Jews and other minorities. Some of them were sentto one of the several concentration camps where they were made to work and stayin inhuman conditions and were later killed in gas chambers leading to massethnic cleansing of the minorities.
AFRICAN STATELESSNESSAND REFUGEE CRISIS Most of the African nations gainedindependence in the 60’s and 70’s from the British and the French colonialrule. They had an immediate situation to grapple with the agenda of buildingthe nation and were facing a lot of problems internally as the boundaries ofthe states were drawn from elsewhere in Berlin, Europe in 1885 at the peak ofEuropean imperialism can be felt even today if you look at theBanyarwanada people who have been stateless from independence. They wereRwandan tribesmen who fled to Congo after first world war as laborers. When Congobecame independent, their citizenship law stated that those who were thetribesmen of the state when the boundary was drawn way back in 1885. Hence, theBanyarwanda people were left out and were not recognized by Rwanda either. In1972 they were given citizenship in order to get their support for politicalgains and this was later revoked in 1981 leaving the community stateless again.
TheEnglish, before leaving, provided with a watertight framework regardingcitizenship ensuring that no many would be left stateless whereas the Frenchleft the matter of nationality on the independent newly formed governments todecide leading to lot of chaos later on. Theconcept of Jus Soli (citizenship by birth) proved to be unsustainable in thelonger run, hence was abolished. Someof the major faced by the population is that they don’t live in their originalcommunities any more. They had migrated during the colonial period as laborerswhen there were no borders or sometimes no restrictions as it was ruled by the same empire.
Now they have verylittle or no connection to their country of origin, also, they are not grantedcitizenship in the country of residence though they have been staying therefrom pre independence era for the sole reason that they are not tribesmen ofthe state as discussed in Banyarwanada case. Few other similar cases are thatof the Kenyan community south Sudan EthiopiaThe other problem being cross borderpopulation. The origin to this can again can be traced back to the borderdispute as the boundaries were drawn in a haphazard manner hence affectingmillions of people residing at the border as the nations on either side regardthem with suspicion.
Some other problems are that few governmentshave passed legislations to eliminate a certain race from the state, also knownas ethnic cleansing. For instance, in Central African Republic where the Muslimminorities have been on the receiving end.Also, the children of persons who havemarried among different ethnicities from different countries are facing aproblem of being stateless which also include abandoned kids who areundocumented. The plight of Sri LankanTamils Over 30,000 Tamils who had settled in SriLanka when they first went as indentured laborers at the tea estates during theBritish colonial period have fled from to India over a conflict betweenBuddhist Sinhalese and the minority Hindu Tamils. Since then they have beenresiding as refugees in the designated refugee camps in the state of Tamil Naduin India. These people have never found their way backto what they used to call home as they were never integrated into the system.They were discriminated when they weredenied citizenship as per the Ceylon citizenship bill which later became a lawwhich stated that people claiming citizenship had to prove the residence ofthree generations which was next to impossible for the Sri Lankan Tamils and ifso they had three generations of history, they were not documented. Hence, theywere left stateless.
Much later through various agreements and pacts betweenIndia and Sri Lanka few were given citizenship and recognized by the Indiangovernment and a few by the Sri Lankan counterpart but this did not resolve theissue as a number of people residing in Sri Lanka had Indian citizenship. At the time of the civil war,those, large number of people residing in refugee camps in India who still doare left stateless as, though Indian government recognizes them as residents byproviding them with documents, but not as citizens and merely as refugees. Theycannot claim the benefit of the Grant of Citizenship to Persons of IndianOrigin Act No.35 of 2003, which now recognizes allpersons of Indian origin who have been permanently residing in Sri Lanka ascitizens. Hence, they are still considered stateless adding to their plight. Ending Statelessness The two previous United Nations conventionsnamely, the 1951 convention relating to the refugees and the 1967 protocolrelating to the status of refugees have not been able to receive the attentionof several nations as there are 142 member nations who are members of both theconventions, India not being a member to either of them.
The United Nations organs and Human RightsCommission has not been effective in dealing with the problems of the statelesspeople as citizenship is regarded as a sovereign issue that can only be dealtinternally. The United Nations must have a strong hold on nations regardingthis issue. They must ensure that the global political community should committo resolve the issue quickly and peacefully. The action must be taken quicklybecause the number of stateless have been on the rise as the younger generationhave also been left stateless on the sole reason that their parents arestateless. One third of all the stateless today are children. This may increaseif swift action is not taken. Theserecommendations must be made to the council such that interim measures can betaken by council and the member states will be under an obligation to implementthe decisions made by the council as per the UN charter.
Article 15 ofthe Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) provides that “everyonehas the right to a nationality” and that “no one shall be arbitrarilydeprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change hisnationality.” This above declaration in itself has to be made a part if thedomestic law.The need of the hour to end statelessness isthe formation of monitoring bodies. These bodies must not be social authoritiesas UNHCR satisfies the need of a social body but we need an internationalpolitical Authority like that of the Human Rights which must ensure that allthe international treaties and agreements on citizenship are followedeffectively by the binding nations and whether the international laws on thesubject are respected and adhered to Statelessness caused by the fall of theSoviet Union