Burmese Nationality

Myanmar nationality

At least three groups of stateless people originating in Burma, the Rohingya (see also Bangladesh, Malaysia and Japan); indigenous but not indigenous peoples such as Indians; and children born in Thailand by Burmese parents. The influx of Burmese workers will undoubtedly increase the number of children born in Thailand, leading to an increase in stateless Burmese children. A map showing where the Burmese language is spoken.

They have historically been denied Burmese citizenship. Myanmar citizens must declare all foreign currencies on arrival.

International Observatory for Statelessness

At least three groups of displaced citizens from Burma, the Rohingya (see also Bangladesh, Malaysia and Japan); natives but not tribal peoples, such as Indians; and minors from Burmese families in Thailand. Rohingya are Muslims living in the north of Rakhine (historically known as Arakan) state, a remote area in the west of Burma that borders Bangladesh.

Burmese consecutive leaders have regarded these migratory streams as illegitimate since gaining freedom in 1948. They claim that the Rohingya are indeed Bengalese and have declined to recognise them as a citizen. Soon after General Ne Win and his Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) took over in 1962, the army regime began to disband Rohingya's welfare and politics as well.

Burma was deprived of citizenship by the Emergency Immigration Act of 1974. The Nagamin operation (Dragon King) in 1977 was a nationwide attempt to record and sort out foreign nationals before a nationwide survey. More than 200,000 Rohingya had escaped to Bangladesh by 1978. Burmese officials alleged that their escape was evidence of the Rohingya's illicit state in Burma.

Rohingya was proclaimed a "foreigner" under the Citizenship Act of 1982. The Rohingya are not in any category because they are not recognised by the Myanmar authorities as one of the 135 "national races". Over 700,000 Rohingya in North Rakhine are now virtually stateless and have no fundamental people.

Unidentified numbers of people of India descent (PIOs) are Stateless, although at least half a million could be affected. There have been tens of thousands of people in Burma for over four generation and are not from India or Burma. Burma's last formal Burmese population survey in 1983 revealed approximately 428,000 people of Burmese descent.

Burma's present populace is put at around 600,000, but according to the India administration, up to 2.5 million people could live in Burma. There are only about 2,000 holding a passport. Though they have been in Burma for more than four generation, they do not have the documents demanded by the Burmese Nationality Act of 1982 and are therefore Stateless.

Burma's authorities refuse to give Burmese nationality to Burmese families who have been away unlawfully or have escaped prosecution. Burmese descendants of Thailand have no certificate of origin and their parent does not have a certificate of naturalization. Unaccredited by the Burmese authorities and unwanted by the Thai authorities, many of Burma's approximately two million immigrant laborers and 150,000 Burmese migrants are virtually stateless because they have no nationality documents and face a life of despair.

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