Many of the most large scale and entrenched situations of statelessness in the world today were born out of the experiences of colonisation, de-colonisation and consequent nation-building. Newly independent states have had to deal with borders arbitrarily drawn (often dividing ethnic groups) peoples forcibly migrated (for labour) and the consequences of decades, sometimes centuries of colonial rule which successfully put different ethnic and religious groups against each other. Some groups were more privileged than others as part of a wider divide and rule policy by colonial governments. It is not surprising that many newly independent states thus struggled with national identity and the treatment of minorities. While colonial history does not justify in any way discrimination, arbitrariness and disenfranchisement, history must be understood and addressed in order to reduce statelessness.