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Statelessness, a legal concept describing the lack of any nationality, is the absence of a recognized link between an individual and any state. A de jure stateless person is someone who is "not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law". A de facto stateless person is someone who is outside the country of his or her nationality and is unable or, for valid reasons, unwilling to avail him- or herself of the protection of that country. This can be a result of persecution, in which case there is an overlap with the definition of a refugee, but it can also be a consequence of lack of diplomatic relations between the state of nationality and the state of residence. Some de jure stateless persons are also refugees although not all refugees are de jure stateless, and not all de jure stateless persons are refugees. Many stateless persons have never crossed an international border. (via Freebase)