Research Articles

Collective Victimisation of Stateless Peoples: The Added Value of the Victim Label



The lives of stateless peoples tend to be marked by social discrimination and state hostility. Framed as ‘undesirable aliens’, stateless communities that live within the territorial boundaries of hostile state-regimes are often approached with suspicion and internal security concerns rather than with sympathy for the forms of victimisation that define their existence. The present contribution reflects on the implications of a discourse of statelessness that fails to recognise the stateless as victims. We argue that negative labels attached to stateless peoples are partially facilitated by legal documents that fail to recognise victimhood that is often inherent to statelessness. Moreover, we submit that providing ‘the victim label’ to stateless communities, through academic debate and advocacy, might enhance their status in international law as well as at the domestic level.


statelessnessvictimologyabuse of powerhuman rights
  • Year: 2014
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 1-2
  • Page/Article: 285-293
  • DOI: 10.1163/22112596-01902027
  • Published on 1 Jan 2014
  • Peer Reviewed