The Centre for Public Interest Law is engaged in various research and advocacy projects which respond to the crisis of citizenship in India. This work is focused on the state of Assam where around 2 million persons are at the verge of statelessness. Considering the scale of the problem, and the fact that India does not have a law on statelessness, there is a need to articulate a policy framework. Securing Citizenship report is the first of many interventions on citizenship and statelessness that the Centre is working on.
The report can be accessed here. We recommend downloading the report and opening it in Adobe Acrobat for best reading experience.
To foster engagement with the report, CPIL is hosting a series of events and symposia in collaboration with Parichay – The Blog. The flagship event will be a webinar on the key themes of the report, taking place on 5th December. Other events include release of excepts, series of posts by authors reflecting on contemporary legal developments, interviews with scholars on the themes of the report, and a call for contributions from all readers. The full schedule of events can be accessed here.
About the Statelessness Report
Securing Citizenship is the outcome of the research partnership between the Centre for Public Interest Law, Jindal Global Law School and the Faculty of Law, Université Catholique de Lille. The report carries detailed analysis of key legal issues faced by persons who are either in a condition of precarious citizenship in Assam or stateless persons in India. It makes recommendations to strengthen the existing legal framework. The recommendations have been presented in three interrelated chapters, namely Status, Detention and Socio-Economic Rights. These recommendations draw from international law, Indian law and best practices across jurisdictions with a view of their feasible implementation in the unique context that India presents.
Contributors and Authors
Prof. (Dr.) Mohsin Alam Bhat is an Associate Professor and Executive-Director of the Center for Public Interest Law at the Jindal Global Law School. He read law at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, before completing his LL.M. and J.S.D. from Yale Law School. Before going to Yale, he clerked with Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, Supreme Court of India. His areas of research include constitutional law and theory, equality and discrimination law, law and religion, and law and social movements. He is interested in combining multiple methodologies, particularly ethnographic methods, in the study of law. Mohsin has worked on the affirmative action in India, and the role of rights and constitutional discourse in minority political mobilization in India. In 2016, he was awarded the Gruber Fellowship in Global Justice and Women’s Rights (Yale) and started an ongoing empirical research on urban rental housing discrimination in India.
Aashish Yadav is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Interest Law. He studied Master of Laws in Human Rights Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science where he focused on international human rights law, refugee law, data protection law, and international legal thought. Before that, Aashish read English literature at Hindu College, University of Delhi and law at Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi. During LL.B., he interned with several human rights organisations and served as an Editor for the first student edition of Delhi Law Review.
His research interests lie in the areas of international human rights law, citizenship and statelessness. He led the research and drafting effort on JGU-Lille report on Statelessness in India. He is currently engaged in several ongoing projects at the Centre.
After graduating as bachelor in Private Law from Paris-Saclay University and completing an LL.M. from the University of Sydney, Claire chose to specialise in International Human Rights. Enthusiastic and proactive, she worked in several countries with different NGOs and national institutions (Red Cross, Danish Institute for Human Rights, Transparency International etc.) throughout the years. After a field experience in Nepal and profoundly influenced by the migration issues in the region, she chose to join the Legal Clinic on statelessness in Assam to contribute to research in this field. During her time in the clinic, Claire specialized in migration detention and the substantives rights endangered in this context.
Flora is studying an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law at Catholic University of Lille. She has previously volunteered for NGOs and lawyers to defend the interest of vulnerable people, especially in the sphere of migration. She is taking part in the project on statelessness through the partnership between the Jindal Global Law School and the Catholic University of Lille and aims to ensure the respect for human rights at regional, national and international levels.
Amandine is a law student in the final year of her LL.M. program in Human Rights, Security and Development at the Catholic University of Lille. Extremely passionate about migrants’ rights and their legal empowerment, she has done internships in diverse structures abroad in the last few years, from a law firm to an NGO, to expand her knowledge on the different issues they face. In this perspective, she decided to join the legal clinic on statelessness in Assam in partnership with the Jindal Global Law School. This experience has offered her an opportunity to work on a human right issue she has come to be really interested about, that is migration-related detention and the worrying risk of indefinite detention for stateless persons.
Théo is about to graduate with an LL.M. in International and European Law in Human Rights, Security and Development at the Catholic University of Lille. He has participated in two international moot court competitions regarding the protection of international and regional human rights. The promotion and the protection of human rights has always been dear to him. It is one of the many reasons why he joined the clinic, and for the protection of persons facing statelessness in Assam
Hélène is currently enrolled in her final year of Masters in Human Rights, Security, and Development at the Catholic University of Lille. She has long been sensitive to the issues related to migration and its link with human rights, she is now working with several associations aiming at protecting migrant and refugee rights. She decided to join the students of Jindal Global Law School in their project on Statelessness in India in order to strengthen her knowledge of nationality-related issues and arbitrary detention. She strongly believes that this report will have a beneficial impact on the precarious nationality situations in India.
Anushri is currently pursuing BBA LLB at O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed To Be University). She has co-authored and co-edited the present report, is a student fellow at the Centre of Public Interest Law and has assisted Dr Mohsin Alam Bhat in some legal issues revolving around citizenship in India. She is deeply passionate about the law and is seen constantly exploring, indulging in and learning new things. Anushri is also an avid reader and a fitness enthusiast.
Vrinda is a final year student at Jindal Global Law School. During her LLB, she has engaged in numerous legal aid projects which pursued the goals of socio-economic justice. In the sphere of policy, she has assisted parliamentarians in drafting responses to important Bills such as The Transgender (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 and Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019. Her research and volunteer experience in the domain of hate crimes has motivated her to carve out a career as a human rights practitioner and an academic. Her interest areas include discrimination law, human rights and constitutional theory.
Arunima Nair holds prior degrees in Sociology and English Literature from Delhi School of Economics and Lady Shri Ram College respectively. Her interests lie in public law, jurisprudence, and socio-legal studies. She has previously worked as a research associate on governance and policy matters, and is currently enrolled in the LLB program at JGLS. In her free time, she reads creative fiction, visits galleries, and practices the violin.
Veda is a fifth-year law student with a keen interest in public law, human rights, and socio-legal studies. Working with the JGLS Legal Aid Clinic in the neighbouring villages sparked her passion for socio-economic rights and exploring obligations of the state and judiciary. She was drawn to this research project after taking an intensive course on ‘forced migration and international human rights’ at UNSW, Sydney. She hopes to pursue her interests through academic research and policy work, with a career in litigation.
Yamini is currently in the process of completing her LL.B. She has an MPhil In World History from the University of Cambridge and a BA in Government and Psychology from Smith College, U.S.A. She previously worked as a Research Associate with the Foundation for Rural Recovery and Development in Delhi. She has had substantial experience interviewing refugees in India, primarily through her work on a research project (funded by the International Institute for Environment and Development, UK) on urban refugee self-reliance with Dr Jessica Field and Anubhav D. Tiwari, with whom she co-authored a number of publications.
Khush Aalam Singh is a second-year law student at Jindal Global Law School. He has a keen interest in international and comparative law studies, human rights and foreign policy. Khush can often be found grappling with contemporary socio-legal issues from the lenses of caste, gender and privilege. He has previously interned with the Indian Society for International Law and has participated in Model UN conferences focusing on migration and human rights. Constantly seeking opportunities for diversifying experience and reliance on caffeine form a non-derogable part of his work ethic. Through the aegis of this report, he has gained valuable perspectives about the plight of stateless persons and experience in constructing human rights-centric arguments for their protection.
AbhilashRadhaKrishnan is a graphic designer from India. In his design practice so far, he has aided in designing textbooks for school children, design editorials, build brands, strategise systems, visualize information and create experiences.