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


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


Zelda van der Velde ,

Master Student in Victimology, Criminal Justice and International Law Tilburg University; Intern at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon
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Rianne Letschert

Professor in Victimology and International Law, International Victimology Institute Tilburg, Tilburg University
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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.
How to Cite: van der Velde Z and Letschert R, ‘Collective Victimisation of Stateless Peoples: the Added Value of the Victim Label’ (2014) 19 Tilburg Law Review 285 DOI:
Published on 01 Jan 2014.
Peer Reviewed


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