UNHCR urges governments to accelerate progress and address plight of stateless people around the world – world


Further action is needed to address the plight of millions of people around the world who still lack citizenship, urged UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, today as it scored seven years since the launch of its #IBelong campaign to end statelessness.

“Significant progress has been made in recent years, but governments must do more to address the legal and policy loopholes that continue to leave millions of people stateless or allow children to be born stateless,” he said. said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo. Grown up.

Statelessness, or the failure to be recognized as a citizen by any country, affects millions of people around the world. Stateless persons often cannot access the most basic rights, including the ability to go to school, to work legally, to access health services, to get married or to register the birth of a child.

Since UNHCR launched its #IBelong campaign in 2014 to attract attention and advocate for an end to statelessness globally, more than 400,000 stateless people in 27 countries have acquired nationality, while tens of thousands of people across Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas now have a path to citizenship as a result of newly enacted legislative changes.

Over the past seven years, 29 States have acceded to the Statelessness Conventions, demonstrating a strengthened political will to end statelessness.

“We are heartened by this global drive to fight statelessness, which with concerted efforts by States we can eradicate. But unless progress accelerates, the millions of people who remain deprived of their nationality will be stuck in human rights limbo, unable to access even the most basic of rights, ”said Grandi.

Statelessness has many causes which are usually the result of gaps or flaws in nationality laws and the way they are implemented. Discrimination – including on the basis of ethnicity, religion and gender – is one of the main drivers of statelessness.

Because they are not recognized as citizens, stateless persons are often deprived of legal rights or basic services. This leaves them politically and economically marginalized and vulnerable to discrimination, exploitation and abuse. They also may not be able to access COVID-19 testing, treatment or vaccination, and may have little access to support or protection from climate risks.

Governments hold the power to enact legal and policy reforms that can help stateless people in their territory acquire citizenship or prevent statelessness from occurring in the first place, sometimes with the stroke of a pen or change. relatively simple legal. It remains an easily preventable and solvable problem.

UNHCR’s decade-long #IBelong campaign calls on states to end statelessness by 2024.

Information Notes for Editors:

Globally, UNHCR statistical reports count 4.2 million stateless people in some 94 countries. Since most countries do not collect any data on statelessness, the actual figure is considered to be significantly higher.

To date, 96 states are party to the 1954 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, and 77 are party to the 1961 United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

Since the start of the #IBelong campaign:

  • 1 State, Kyrgyzstan has resolved all known cases of statelessness and 11 others have made progress towards resolving major situations of statelessness.
  • 17 States also have statelessness determination procedures in place to identify stateless persons in their territory, some providing an easier route to citizenship.
  • 12 states have created processes to facilitate the naturalization of stateless migrants.
  • 14 states amended their nationality laws to grant nationality to children born in their territory who would otherwise be stateless.
  • 2 States have reformed their nationality laws to allow mothers to confer nationality on their children on an equal basis with fathers.

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