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Statelessness and the lives of the children of migrants in Sabah, East Malaysia

Allerton, Catherine ORCID: 0000-0002-1463-4157 (2014) Statelessness and the lives of the children of migrants in Sabah, East Malaysia. Tilburg Law Review: Journal of International and European Law, 19 (1-2). pp. 26-34. ISSN 2211-0046

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Identification Number: 10.1163/22112596-01902004


This article explores issues involved with researching statelessness ‘on the ground’ during ethnographic fieldwork in Malaysia with the children of migrants and refugees. It argues that many of these children, whose parents or grandparents originate from Indonesia or the Philippines, lack an ‘effective nationality’. However, rather than statelessness or illegality per se, what dominates these children’s lives is their perpetual ‘foreignness’. Even when children might be able to have their citizenship recognised by a parental country of origin, families often prefer to remain undocumented, and to wait (perhaps indefinitely) for the Malaysian citizenship they perceive as rightfully theirs.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Koninklijke Brill NV.
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2014 12:11
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 03:51

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