Nansen passports, officially stateless persons passports, were internationally recognized refugee travel documents, first issued by the League of Nations to stateless refugees. They quickly became known as "Nansen passports" for their promoter, the statesman and polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen.
The front cover of a Nansen passport (green stripe)
|Issued by||League of Nations|
|Type of document||Passport|
|Eligibility requirements||stateless refugees|
The first Nansen passports were issued following an international agreement reached at the Intergovernmental Conference on Identity Certificates for Russian Refugees, convened by Fridtjof Nansen in Geneva from July 3, 1922 to July 5, 1922 in his role as High Commissioner for Refugees for the League of Nations. By 1942, they were honoured by governments in 52 countries. Approximately 450,000 Nansen passports were provided to stateless people and refugees who needed travel documents but could not obtain one from a national authority.
The Nansen passport was originally provided to refugees from the Russian civil war. It is estimated that about 800,000 Russian refugees had become stateless when Lenin revoked citizenship for all Russian expatriates in 1921.
Following Nansen's death in 1930, the passport was handled by the Nansen International Office for Refugees within the League of Nations. At that point the passport no longer included a reference to the 1922 conference, but were issued in the name of the League. The office was closed in 1938; passports were thereafter issued by a new agency, the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees in London.
Nobel Peace PrizeEdit
While Nansen passports are no longer issued, existing national and supranational authorities, including the United Nations, issue travel documents for stateless people and refugees, including certificates of identity (or "alien's passports") and refugee travel documents.
- "Documents from the League of Nations Archives" (PDF). Refugee Survey Quarterly. 22 (1): 71–73. 2003. doi:10.1093/rsq/22.1.71. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- Nansen-pass Store Norske Leksikon, retrieved December 11, 2012
- Arkivverket.no (in Norwegian), retrieved December 11, 2012
- The Nansen Office Arkivverket. Retrieved 2 December 2014
- Fridtjof Nansen, Nobelprize.org, 1922. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- Mumford, David (2015). "(Obituary) Alexander Grothendieck (1928-2014) Mathematician who rebuilt algebraic geometry.". Retrieved 2015-10-14.
- Nansenkontoret Arkivverket.no (in Norwegian), retrieved December 11, 2012