People without nationality may have citizenship

VietNamNet Bridge – Tens of thousands of people without registered nationality in Vietnam will have great chance of gaining full citizenship rights and obligations once the country joins the 1954 Convention on the status of stateless persons.

Vietnamese citizenship, human rights, improve, legal procedures

Illustrative image. – File photo 

The issue was discussed at a conference reviewing regulations about people having no citizenship in Vietnam and the country’s possibility of joining the convention between the Ministry of Justice and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Monday.

Deputy Minister Nguyen Khanh Ngoc said citizenship is one of the most basic rights of a person since the time he or she was born.

Citizenship reflects the connection between an individual and the State and brings rights and mutual responsibilities to each other between the country and that individual, he said.

Despite the importance of citizenship, many people living in Vietnam have not had their citizenship yet.

Data of the justice ministry showed that 4,741 people without citizenship have fulfilled conditions of staying in Vietnam for more than 20 years to hold Vietnamese citizenship while tens of thousands of others have not met the requirement to acquire it.

These people are categorized in four groups, including immigrants from Cambodia into southern provinces of Vietnam, immigrants from Laos to western border provinces, immigrants from China to northern border provinces, and Vietnamese people who had given up their Vietnamese citizenship but have not yet acquired foreign citizenship and returned to live in their homeland.

In order for them to enjoy full rights and take responsibilities as a citizen of Vietnam, and also for the State to manage them easily, the ministry has taken efforts in preparation for Vietnam to join Convention 1954, Ngoc said.

The convention provides a multilateral framework for all countries to reduce the number of stateless people and work towards granting citizenship for all people, he said.

Nicholas Oakeshot, a UNHCR expert in Southeast Asia, said Vietnam should join the convention so as to complete its regulations about citizenships and guarantee human rights in the country.

The convention will help Vietnam improve its legal procedures, empower stateless people and ensure human rights for them, he said.


Vietnamese citizenship, human rights, improve, legal procedures