A Boat Without Anchors: A Report on the Legal Status of Ethnic Vietnamese Minority Populations in Cambodia Under Domestic and International Laws Governing Nationality and Statelessness

166 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2014

See all articles by Christoph Sperfeldt

Christoph Sperfeldt

Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness, Melbourne Law School

Lyma Nguyen

William Forster Chambers

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

This Report considers the nationality status of a group from among the ethnic Vietnamese minority in Kampong Chhnang Province, Cambodia (the focal group), under the operation of the applicable domestic nationality laws of Cambodia and Vietnam. Members of the specific ethnic Vietnamese minority group, the subject of this report, are long-term residents of Cambodia, having been born and raised in the country for generations – with the exception of the period between 1975 and the early 1980s, when they were forcibly deported to Vietnam by the Khmer Rouge regime. During those events, they lost important documentation establishing their legal status and since their return to Cambodia in the early 1980s, they have been regarded by Cambodian authorities as "immigrants".

In assessing the nationality status of the focal group, this report (1) looks at the status of the focal group under the applicable Cambodian and Vietnamese nationality laws, including any relevant changes to the laws throughout time; (2) examines documentation available among the focal group to establish or prove their civil status; (3) considers how the national authorities of Cambodia and Vietnam view and treat the group under the operation of their respective laws; and (4) discusses whether members of the focal group could be classified as stateless.

Keywords: Vietnam, Cambodia, statelessness, Khmer Rouge, nationality laws, minorities

Suggested Citation

Sperfeldt, Christoph and Nguyen, Lyma, A Boat Without Anchors: A Report on the Legal Status of Ethnic Vietnamese Minority Populations in Cambodia Under Domestic and International Laws Governing Nationality and Statelessness (2012). RegNet Research Paper No. 2014/50, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2514121 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2514121

Christoph Sperfeldt (Contact Author)

Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness, Melbourne Law School ( email )

Melbourne, Victoria 3010
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://law.unimelb.edu.au/about/staff/christoph-sperfeldt

Lyma Nguyen

William Forster Chambers ( email )

26 Harry Chan Ave
Darwin, NT 0800
Australia

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