Community Voices

My Stateless Life

  • 19 September 2023
  • 2 replies

Userlevel 3


Dear Diary, it's me, Prince Lenny Penaloza... 


Today, just like every other day, the struggles continue as a stateless person and there's just one sentence to summarise it all, "a visibly horrific, inhumane existence" boosted by several laws and policies in place by the system that deprives me of basic human rights, hence making life literally a living hell. In other words, only who feels it knows it, because the descriptions of existing in such a situation as a stateless person in today's modern world are heart-wrenching. 


Even in a world where the various levels of systematic breakdowns and further sub-breakdowns of human classifications amongst "the haves and have-nots" are clearly visible – which in itself is a sad reality – being stateless goes further down the inhumane system ladder because it's an existence without existing when you don’t matter or count in regards to having and exercising the basic human rights just like everyone else. 


Yes, the world, as we know it, revolves around laws and policies set up by governments, policymakers and those that wield political and financial powers; powers that influence and make certain calls which impact the lives of people within a country and even globally. Yet, I keep asking myself why aren't these same people using such immense power to make the right calls that would improve life on a global scale? After all, there's just one earth for all humans, so why make it unbearable and miserable for a vast majority of people and way worse for stateless people like myself?


Imagine living without living: You have no freedom of movement; no right to employment; no clear right and share in educational resources; no right to vote; no right to legally get married (if it's something you want to do); no right to full health care, hence depression gets to sink in easily in poor health conditions; your access to social involvement and activities is limited; housing is a problem; your financial hardship is beyond the poverty line, so that you find yourself starving regularly for days which turn into weeks on a monthly basis; you get politically and racially oppressed by rules, including citizenship law and policies that are in place by the government, unfortunately giving some individuals working in the government offices a ground to abuse their power. These are just a few scratches of what many stateless persons like myself have to constantly deal with. 


Why are those with political power not paying attention, and why are they turning a blind eye towards the issue? Why is the issue not on the top agenda of parliamentarians? Why has nothing concrete been done to create a part where government officials work together with humanitarian activists, NGO's and people experienced in the issue to resolve the problem of Statelessness?... These are just some of the questions that I have on my mind as a stateless person and as someone speaking out on the issue for people to hear, especially those at the back.


2 replies

Userlevel 3

Love my Team and the Statefree Family💜💜.

I'll keep saying it the way it is and my voice won't be silenced as long as I draw breath.

Thank you 💐



Userlevel 4

Thank you @Prince for putting these extremly powerful thoughts on paper! Thank you for also sharing the vulnerable side of it and yourself with all of us! That makes you so much stronger than you already are 💚