Zaglul Hader


I argue in this paper that legal, but in effective citizenship does not matter much, only effective citizenship matters. Effective citizenship can award an individual the “right to have rights.” Ineffective citizens do not have the “right to have rights” or they do not have access to many important rights associated with citizenship rights. They suffer from ineffective governance, and the State of their citizenship discriminates against them. My empirical findings show that the Biharis in Bangladesh are de jure citizens, but de facto stateless persons. In the strict legal sense, they are citizens of Bangladesh, but practically they still do not have access to many significant rights attached to the citizenship right that is essential to make their citizenship meaningful or effective. This paper suggests that to make them effective citizens of Bangladesh, the Government should extend equal rights and responsibilities to the Biharis like other citizens. Their ability to access all rights and duties attached to citizenship rights would make them effective citizens of the country, and their citizenship could be meaningful.


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Bangladesh, Biharis, citizenship, de jure and de facto statelessness, human rights, integration

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