Nationality and Discrimination: The Case of Kenyan Nubians

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Based on research carried out by the Open Society Justice Initiative in 2010, these fact sheets discuss and illustrate statelessness and discrimination among Nubians in Kenya.

Nubians first arrived in Kenya in the late 19th century, relocated by force by the British Colonial Administration from the Nuba Mountains in Sudan. Today, despite having lived in Kenya for generations, they are still viewed as foreigners. At independence in 1963, few Nubians obtained Kenyan nationality and a struggle against statelessness and discrimination has continued ever since.

In 2010, at least 13 percent of Nubian adults were still stateless, and most have at some point had their nationality questioned or been discriminated against in access to nationality. Decades of social and psychological marginalization have led to desperate poverty among Nubian communities across Kenya; the average household income is just $4 per day, and more than 70 percent are unemployed.