Statelessness Course: South East Asia Focus

Tilburg Law School is offering a specialised week-long intensive training course on the problem of statelessness.

The course, developed by Tilburg’s Statelessness Programme in close collaboration with the Open Society Justice Initiative and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), will bring together participants from civil society, academia, governments and international organisations to learn about statelessness, explore fundamental questions of definition and legal frameworks, and to develop plans for action.

This course follows the successful implementation of the global-oriented “Summer Course” hosted by Tilburg Law School in 2012 and 2013 and will offer for the first time a regionalized perspective, with a focus on South East Asia. The course will provide the same insight into fundamental issues surrounding statelessness—its causes, consequences and the tools that can be used to address it—but will also shed light on the problem of statelessness in South East Asia through tailored assignments and case studies. The regional course is also co-hosted by the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network, APRRN.

The course offers a unique opportunity to learn about and reflect on the challenge that statelessness presents in the international system and to apply this knowledge, under the guidance of expert facilitators, to specific situations in South East Asia. The course aims to enable people working in statelessness and related fields—such as refugees/IDPs, citizenship, women and children’s rights, migration, and anti-discrimination—to acquire new skills to better tackle this problem.

The course will run from November 4 to 8, 2013, in Bangkok, Thailand.

Eligibility Criteria

A maximum of 30 participants will be admitted to the course. Eligible candidates have experience in working on issues related to citizenship and statelessness, or significant experience in a related field such as minority rights, migration, forced displacement or child protection and an interest in the issue of statelessness. Such work experience may have been gained in NGOs, inter-governmental organizations, governments, or research institutes and universities.  

Moreover, as both the sessions and the course materials will be in English, applicants should have proficiency in the English language. Foreign-language English speakers should be able to obtain a score of 7.0 in ELTS/IELTS or 570 in TOEFL as a minimum.

You can apply for the course by downloading the application form which can be downloaded here. Please send the completed form along with your CV to:

[email protected]

The closing date for applications is September 15, 2013. All applicants will receive notice as to whether they have been selected for the course by October 1, 2013.

Purpose and Priorities

Lasting one week, the course considers statelessness and the enjoyment of nationality from various angles. Beginning with a reflection on the concept of statelessness, the course will deal with legal and policy issues associated with statelessness. The course will address the status of stateless persons, their human rights and right to international protection. In addition, the course will take a closer look at a number of specific questions relating to statelessness, such as UNHCR’s mandate and the work of different stakeholders on this issue, the influence of gender discrimination in creating statelessness, children’s right to a nationality and ways to research and document statelessness. The course incorporates many case studies and group work assignments through which the participants learn how to apply the theory covered. A common thread in these assignments will be the phenomenon of statelessness in South East Asia.

The course provides participants with new knowledge, tools and skills to address statelessness and enforce the right to nationality. The curriculum is taught by lecturers from a variety of backgrounds, both professionally and geographically. Participants with a special interest in statelessness in (South East) Asia engage actively in the different sessions, with several opportunities throughout the week to work in smaller teams and focus specifically on their own area of interest. As such, the participants will benefit from the knowledge and professional experience of both the lecturers and their fellow participants.


The course fee is € 950. This covers all weekday lunches, tuition, course materials, and a closing dinner. Other evening and weekend meals are not included in the course fee. Participants must also cover their own travel and lodging costs.

A limited number of scholarships is available for applicants who are able to demonstrate how their work would benefit from participation in the course, but who would otherwise be unable to participate. There is a limited number of full-scholarships (tuition fee, travel and accommodation covered by the scholarship) and half-scholarships (tuition fee covered by the scholarship) available.

Note that all scholarship positions are highly competitive: should you wish to be considered, please indicate this at the moment of registration and explain clearly how the course would benefit your work in your motivation. Priority will be given to scholarship applicants working on issues of statelessness in one of the countries of South East Asia (ASEAN).

For more information, download the course flyer.