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  The Refugees

Convention relating to the Stateless persons

Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons Adopted on 28 September 1954 by a Conference of Plenipotentiaries convened by Economic and social Council resolution 526 A(XVII) of 26 April 1954 entry into force 6 June 1960 , in accordance with article 39

status of ratifications


The High Contracting Parties,

Considering that the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights approved on
10 December 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations have affirmed the principle that human
beings shall enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms without discrimination,

Considering that the United Nations has, on various occasions, manifested its profound concern for stateless
persons and endeavoured to assure stateless persons the widest possible exercise of these fundamental rights
and freedoms,

Considering that only those stateless persons who are also refugees are covered by the Convention relating to
the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951, and that there are many stateless persons who are not covered by that

Considering that it is desirable to regulate and improve the status of stateless persons by an international
agreement, Have agreed as follows:

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Article 1.-Definition of the term "stateless person"

1. For the purpose of this Convention, the term "stateless person" means a person who is not considered as a
national by any State under the operation of its law.

2. This Convention shall not apply:

(i) To persons who are at present receiving from organs or agencies of the United Nations other than the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees protection or assistance so long as they are receiving such
protection or assistance;

(ii) To persons who are recognized by the competent authorities of the country in which they have taken
residence as having the rights and obligations which are attached to the possession of the nationality of that

(iii) To persons with respect to whom there are serious reasons for considering that:

(a) They have committed a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity, as defined in
the international instruments drawn up to make provisions in respect of such crimes;

(b) They have committed a serious non-political crime outside the country of their residence prior to their
admission to that country;

(c) They have been guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 2.-General obligations

Every stateless person has duties to the country in which he finds himself, which require in particular that he
conform to its laws and regulations as well as to measures taken for the maintenance of public order.

Article 3.-Non-discrimination

The Contracting States shall apply the provisions of this Convention to stateless persons without discrimination
as to race, religion or country of origin.

Article 4. -Religion

The Contracting States shall accord to stateless persons within their territories treatment at least as favourable
as that accorded to their nationals with respect to freedom to practise their religion and freedom as regards the
religious education of their children.

Article 5. - Rights granted apart from this Convention

Nothing in this Convention shall be deemed to impair any rights and benefits granted by a Contracting State to
stateless persons apart from this Convention.

Article 6. - The term "in the same circumstances"

For the purpose of this Convention, the term " in the same circumstances" implies that any requirements
(including requirements as to length and conditions of sojourn or residence) which the particular individual
would have to fulfil for the enjoyment of the right in question, if he were not a stateless person, must be fulfilled
by him, with the exception of requirements which by their nature a stateless person is incapable of fulfilling.

Article 7. - Exemption from reciprocity

1. Except where this Convention contains more favourable provisions, a Contracting State shall accord to
stateless persons the same treatment as is accorded to aliens generally.

2. After a period of three years' residence, all stateless persons shall enjoy exemption from legislative
reciprocity in the territory of the Contracting States.

3. Each Contracting State shall continue to accord to stateless persons the rights and benefits to which they
were already entitled, in the absence of reciprocity, at the date of entry into force of this Convention for that

4. The Contracting States shall consider favourably the possibility of according to stateless persons, in the
absence of reciprocity, rights and benefits beyond those to which they are entitled according to paragraphs 2
and 3, and to extending exemption from reciprocity to stateless persons who do not fulfil the conditions
provided for in paragraphs 2 and 3.

5. The provisions of paragraphs 2 and 3 apply both to the rights and benefits referred to in articles 13, 18, 19,
21 and 22 of this Convention and to rights and benefits for which this Convention does not provide.

Article 8. - Exemption from exceptional measures

With regard to exceptional measures which may be taken against the person, property or interests of nationals
or former nationals of a foreign State, the Contracting States shall not apply such measures to a stateless
person solely on account of his having previously possessed the nationality of the foreign State in question.
Contracting States which, under their legislation, are prevented from applying the general principle expressed
in this article shall, in appropriate cases, grant exemptions in favour of such stateless persons.

Article 9. - Provisional measures

Nothing in this Convention shall prevent a Contracting State, in time of war or other grave and exceptional
circumstances, from taking provisionally measures which it considers to be essential to the national security in
the case of a particular person, pending a determination by the Contracting State that that person is in fact a
stateless person and that the continuance of such measures is necessary in his case in the interests of national

Article 10. - Continuity of residence

1. Where a stateless person has been forcibly displaced during the Second World War and removed to the
territory of a Contracting State, and is resident there, the period of such enforced sojourn shall be considered to
have been lawful residence within that territory.

2. Where a stateless person has been forcibly displaced during the Second World War from the territory of a
Contracting State and has, prior to the date of entry into force of this Convention, returned there for the purpose
of taking up residence, the period of residence before and after such enforced displacement shall be regarded
as one uninterrupted period for any purposes for which uninterrupted residence is required.

Article 11. - Stateless seamen

In the case of stateless persons regularly serving as crew members on board a ship flying the flag of a
Contracting State, that State shall give sympathetic consideration to their establishment on its territory and the
issue of travel documents to them or their temporary admission to its territory particularly with a view to
facilitating their establishment in another country.

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Article 12. - Personal status

1. The personal status of a stateless person shall be governed by the law of the country of his domicile or, if he
has no domicile, by the law of the country of his residence.

2. Rights previously acquired by a stateless person and dependent on personal status, more particularly rights
attaching to marriage, shall be respected by a Contracting State, subject to compliance, if this be necessary,
with the formalities required by the law of that State, provided that the right in question is one which would have
been recognized by the law of that State had he not become stateless.

Article 13. - Movable and immovable property

The Contracting States shall accord to a stateless person treatment as favourable as possible and, in any
event, not less favourable than that accorded to aliens generally in the same circums

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