It has been two weeks since I moved to Madrid for my PhD in Advanced Studies of Human Rights in the University of Carlos III. If a year ago I was told that I would make up my mind to do a PhD, I would probably never believe it. But here I am, in Madrid, ready to start this adventure.
However, back then the biggest surprise for me would have been the area that I have now chosen for my research and….it is statelessness! And of course, frankly speaking, the reason for this is the Statelessness Programme. I have met Laura and Zahra in October 2011 during my interview for the internship position at the Statelessness Programme. From then on and till now, statelessness is a topic that fascinates me the most out of the wide range of unsettled issues in international law. I have heard of statelessness before during one of my general lectures on international law in the Institute of International Relations of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, but I have never thought of choosing it as my field of research until I got that internship position at the Statelessness Programme. That is when I learnt that there is a shocking amount of stateless people in the world in the twenty first century (!), discovered the reasons of why people are stateless and much more. I have also attended an extremely interesting and informative course on Nationality, Statelessness and Human Rights given by Dr. Laura van Waas, the Senior Researcher and Manager of the Statelessness Programme. Moreover, I have written my Master Thesis in the area of statelessness, entitled “Revocation of nationality from Dominicans of Haitian descent in light of the Bueno v. Dominican Republic case”, supervised by Laura.
Looking back, I must say it was quite a “statelessness year” and as it seems, there are about three or four more to come. I have just started my PhD in Spain, thus many things have to still be arranged and organized, however I can already reveal the theme that I am planning to do my research on and it is: “Access to basic human rights of stateless people and their implementation in the example of statelessness determination procedure in Spain”. There is still a long way to go, but I can feel the first steps already and I must say it’s very exciting.
Thus, I would like to thank Statelessness Programme, Laura and Zahra for opening the world of statelessness for me and letting me in “behind the scenes” of the “statelessness world”. I cannot wait to start my research and make my modest contribution to the treasury of researches in the area of statelessness.Valeria Cherednichenko, former intern of the Statelessness Programme (2011-2012), now doing a PhD in Advanced Studies in Human Rights at the Institute of Human Rights Bartolomé de las Casas, Charles III University of Madrid