A new report says hundreds of thousands — perhaps millions — of Africans are stateless because of gaps in the citizenship laws of many countries.

The report from the African Commission on Human and People's Rights says Africans whose legal existence is jeopardized often are deprived of the right to education, health care and to vote and travel.

Commissioner Maya Fadel-Sahli says such people are denied the right to exist "not because they are not Africans, but because some people in power say they do not deserve to be."

She spoke at the launch of the report Thursday at the African Union in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, calling for a protocol on the right to nationality, saying this will strengthen democracy and integration and reduce conflict on the continent.