Stateless persons

Being stateless means having no access to critical documentation, such as a birth certificate. As a result, stateless people are often not allowed to go to school, see a doctor, get a job, open a bank account, vote, travel, or even buy a house. Generations can become trapped in this cycle of lost opportunities and poverty. 

In Kenya, there are different groups of stateless persons, communities including Pemba, Galjael, Shona, as well as groups of individuals of Burundian, Congolese, Indian and Rwandan descent. The members of these communities “belong” to Kenya because of the existing and longstanding ties with the country however they do not have Kenyan citizenship. 

For more information on the assistance provided by UNHCR for stateless persons, please refer to our Statelessness page here.