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Photographer's Note

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I met this girl at the classroom where she babysat her brother while learning. As the class ended and she rowed the big boat home, I shot this photo with telelens and tripod set on the veranda of the "school" connected to the catholic church — against sunset light.



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Problem of Statelessness


(Continued)

Controversies over citizenship are currently impeding the search for solutions in a number of countries around the world. In addition to the Cambodian situation, difficulties have arisen with regard to the ethnic Nepali refugees who have fled from Bhutan to Nepal, members of Kuwait's Bidoon minority living in other Arab states, and a small number of ethnic Chinese boat people who remain in Hong Kong. The details of these cases differ substantially, and in each instance they are surrounded by complex legal, factual and political disputes. What these situations have in common is that the country of origin will not allow the people concerned to return, citing lack of citizenship as the reason for their exclusion.


The threat of displacement



A second and perhaps even more important connection between statelessness and the refugee problem is to be found in the threat of displacement and expulsion which hangs over many people who are not recognized as citizens of the countries to which they essentially belong. This threat derives less from the simple absence of citizenship, however, and more from the policies and prejudices which often motivate a state's decision to withhold citizenship from a particular group of people. (Excerpts from “The State of the World's Refugees” — by UNHCR, edition 1995, pp-67)

(To be cont’d)





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