UN refugee chief calls for stronger action to end ‘legal limbo’ over statelessness |

Statelessness is “a widespread and grave violation of human rights”, as well as “A doom for humanity”he say.

“Deprived of a fundamental right to a nationality, those who are born or stateless face a serious legal limbo. They are prevented from accessing basic human rights and from participating fully in society. Their lives are marked by exclude, deprive and marginalize. “

We all belong

Mr. Grandi appealed because Friday marked the eight-year anniversary of #I belonga campaign launched by the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCRaims to end statelessness within a decade, or by 2024.

Progress has been made in the interim. Nearly 450,000 people are stateless or already have citizenship or have their citizenship confirmed.

Additionally, tens of thousands of people across Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas now have a pathway to citizenship thanks to newly enacted legislative changes.

While most people probably take their nationality for granted, being undocumented can make life difficult – something Linda, now in her 30s, has known for most of her life.

‘Now I definitely exist’

Although born in Moscow, Linda does not hold Russian citizenship. Her mother, who is from the Middle East, came to this country to study journalism. Because she has no nationality, Linda has a similar situation.

Undocumented, Linda couldn’t open a bank account, rent an apartment, or even buy a SIM card for her phone.

“On November 10, 2018, I received a letter informing me that I had obtained Russian citizenship. It was a very emotional moment… I feel that now I definitely exist,” she told UNHCR in an interview, several years after becoming a citizen.

Global problem, local solution

The UN agency has been reporting on other steps and solutions since the #IBelong campaign was launched.

Three countries have reformed their sexist nationality laws – a root cause of statelessness. However, 24 governments continue denying women equal rights to grant citizenship to their childrenon the same basis as men.

Furthermore, progress toward ending statelessness continues to face other obstacles, UNHCR said, often radvocating discrimination on the basis of race, religion or ethnicity.

“Although statelessness remains a global problem, with various causes, it is one that can be fixed Mr. Grandi said.

“I appeal to governments and legislators around the world use in the next two years campaign to speed action and close legal and policy gaps that continue to leave millions behind”.


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