Automatic Citizenship Determination

In Myanmar millions of people are currently stateless, including the Rohingya, due to discriminatory citizenship laws and the lack of identity documents. These issues impede individuals from gaining citizenship despite being entitled to it. Unfortunately, this has also resulted in the belief that individuals are not entitled to citizenship. Further, many populations, including the Rohingya, are confined to displacement camps that effectively restricts the access to citizenship information or legal services to obtain citizenship. Even if a persecuted individual is able to access citizenship information, it is likely that the individual would not be able to assert their rights meaningfully as citizenship information is either written in English or is not easily accessible and understood by people who have low levels of literacy.

Despite confinement, these populations still have access to the internet and widely utilise Facebook on their mobile phones. In order to overcome issues of accessibility and comprehension, TSHR created a Facebook chatbot, in both English and Rohingya, which enables a user to easily understand their citizenships rights by only having to select yes or no. At the end of the conversation, the user is informed of their current citizenship status and is directed to further citizenship information. TSHR has also transferred the chatbot to a infographic decision tree that was distributed throughout Myanmar with the aid of UNHCR and civil society organisations such as Justice Base.

To access the Facebook chatbot, please click the following link: Myanmar Citizenship Test Chatbot

To view the infographic, please refer to page 18 of Justice Base’s report ‘A legal guide to citizenship and identity documents in Myanmar’