Suhakam and Komnas HAM sign MoU to cooperate on stateless peoples issue

23 Apr 2019 / 13:57 H.

PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commissions of Malaysia (Suhakam) and Indonesia (Komnas HAM), will work together to address the issue of stateless peoples and persons at risk in Sabah.

They have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the collaboration, with the Commission on the Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) as an observer.

“Suhakam, Komnas HAM and the CHRP will also work closely together with their governments on issues pertaining to stateless persons and persons at risk of statelessness in Sabah, and shall conduct a joint research to understand and address the geopolitical nature and historical impetus of this issue,” they said in a joint statement today.

“Stateless in Sabah are mainly of Filipino and Indonesian descent. Stateless persons are often denied the enjoyment of basic human rights, such as equality before the law, right to work, right to education, right to healthcare, right to own property, and they are at risk of becoming victims of crimes, such as trafficking as well as harassment and exploitation.”

They said the absence of or lack of proper documentation is a fundamental challenge faced by all stateless persons, and this is primarily the case in Sabah.

“While the exact number of stateless persons, specifically stateless children in Malaysia is unknown, children born from illicit affairs and unrecognised marriages make up a large number of young people without documentation. 68% of 381 complaints to Suhakam’s Sabah’s office last year were related to statelessness,“ they said. — Bernama

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