246641 Statelessness and health: Findings from a comparative study on livelihoods

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Maureen Lynch, PhD , International Observatory on Statelessness, Washington, DC
Brad Blitz, PhD , International Observatory on Statelessness, Kingston University, Washington, DC
Previous research by non-governmental organizations and human rights groups has highlighted the large number and wide range of barriers that non-refugee stateless people face as well as the wider societal and political challenges posed by their exclusion from the societies where they live. Obstacles include the denial of opportunities to establish a legal residence, freedom to travel, work in the formal economy, send children to school, access basic health services, purchase or own property, vote, run for or hold elected office, and enjoy the protection of a country. In recent years a small number of states have made measurable progress in helping stateless individuals acquire or regain citizenship, sometimes with the help of UNHCR. This study gathered and examines quantitative date on the livelihoods of stateless and formerly stateless people in four settings to illustrate the benefits that citizenship brings. This paper presents preliminary results from a four country, 1200 household, quantitative study on the impact of citizens' acquisition on the livelihoods of stateless people in Bangladesh, Kenya, Slovenia, and Sri Lanka. Using the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework, the research provides evidence of the differences in access to livelihoods assets and capacity to implement livelihood strategies between people who are stateless and those who acquired citizenship. The survey also investigates household health, how vulnerable household income is to sickness in the family, and whether they have access to services due to their status or lack of it. The emerging health-specific findings will be offered and early policy recommendations will be offered.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
Compare health benefits of stateless persons and formerly stateless persons Analyze study outcomes to identify programs and strategies to reduce health vulnerabilities due to statelessness

Keywords: Access, Human Rights

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am one of the researchers. I am affilated with Kingston University's International Observatory on Statelessness, and presently work at Refugees International as Sr. Advocate for Statelessness Initiatives
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.