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Producing Statelessness: How the Predicament of Migrant Workers Generates the Existence of Stateless Children in Taiwan

A stateless person is someone who is not recognised as a national under any State, leaving them much more vulnerable to rights violations than normal citizens. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has confirmed there to be 4.2 million stateless people living worldwide as of 2020. However, in reality, this figure is expected to be much higher as a result of gaps in data collection.


The predicament of statelessness is particularly prevalent in Taiwan, intersecting with the difficult social issue of undocumented migrant workers. Children born to undocumented female migrant workers with unknown or undocumented fathers, are often not registered in the public healthcare system for the mother’s fear of deportation. Such children remain undocumented, and the cycle of statelessness continues.


This report focuses on the increasing number of stateless children in Taiwan, detailing the difficulties undocumented female migrant workers face during pregnancy and how these struggles are passed onto the child in their battle to be viewed as a person in the eyes of the state.

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