When you ask someone where they are from, for most people, it is a simple answer. However, there are people who have no country to call their home: Stateless People. These are people who do not possess any form of nationality or citizenship. This means that they cannot travel legally or reside as citizens of any nation state.
As of 2014, there are an estimated 10 million stateless people, with the number growing each day. There are many types of Stateless People, such as:
Bedouins, groups of people that travel around the Middle East on camels, have no permanent home and are always on the move. While most Middle Eastern countries don’t remove them, the countries also don’t want to give them rights or benefits; and
Citizens of failed states or new states, people who have lost claim to their nationality due to the country no longer existing or haven’t been given a nationality because the new country doesn’t recognise them as normal residents; and
Refugees, who have fled their country and, in order to be accepted in the new country, unofficially destroy their passports. This leaves them unable to claim a passport from the country that they are taking refugee in, and unable to return to their home country; and
Children of people who have citizenship that can’t be passed down to the second or third generation, who, due to conflicting laws between nations are left without a nationality (e.g. Canadian citizens who are a second generation born abroad, and have children in a country that doesn’t assign citizenship by jus soli – citizen by birth in the territory, e.g. Singapore); and
Children of Stateless People who are, in turn, also stateless.
However, the real question is: Why do they exist? Technically, they are direct by-products of the League of Nations, the predecessor to the United Nations. The reason for this being the Treaty of Versailles, which was organised and completed by the League of Nations. After WWI, there were many territorial disputes to be settled, and, as part of the Treaty of Versailles, the League of Nations decided where different countries’ borders lay. The disputes were settled by the victors of WWI, the Allies; they were the ones that carved up the land and handed it to the countries. Before WWI, most borders outside of Europe and North America were fluid, and often undefined while much land was unclaimed. After the League of Nations authorised linear borders in disputed territories, or territories without established borders, all of that changed. Suddenly people found themselves “on the wrong side” of a border, often without a claim to citizenship, stripped of their birthright. If the Allied Powers had accepted that the war was caused by national ambitions and promoted co-operation between all countries, WWII may have been avoided, and possibly nations as we know them would not exist today.
But, is there a way to save mankind from the restrictions of nation states? Ultimately, yes. The European Union (the only real union of nations), is a perfect example. The world is reparable by applying the four founding principles:
Free movement of capital (money); and
Free trade of services; and
Fee trade of products; and
Free movement of people.
Free movement of people is especially important as it means that it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a passport, since anyone could go anywhere. These founding principles ensure the eventual death of the nation state, and the success of democracy through people’s ability to simply leave.
So, is human society saveable? Yes, it is. How do we reverse the problem and forever destroy nation states? The foundation principles of the European Union ensure the downfall of the nation state. If these were implemented in every country around the world, statelessness would no longer exist.
Earth would be united as one world, one nation.