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A stateless nation is a political term used to imply that a group, usually a minority ethnic group, is a nation, and is entitled to its own state, specifically a nation-state for that nation. Since there are no objective criteria for whether a particular group is a nation, or which particular group "has" any given multinational state, usage of the term is political and controversial. Usually, it is used by a movement seeking secession from a larger state, which may also be a nation-state. Often, the advocates of secession see the larger state as a form of Empire and its rule as Imperialism. They usually reject the principle of a multi-ethnic state, certainly in cases where one of its ethnic groups seeks sovereignty.

Not all minorities claim to be 'stateless', even if they assert a separate nationality. States recognise minority ethnic groups and nationalities to different degrees: recognising specific cultural and linguistic rights, and allowing certain political autonomy. For instance, the Council of Europe has established since 1992 the "European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages" to protect some specific cultural and linguistic rights.

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