Over 10m stateless people worldwide, UN launches new campaign

by Redazione West - 2014.11.05
Over 10m stateless people worldwide, UN launches new campaign
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Over 10 million people worldwide are stateless. The United Nations refugee agency has just launched a global campaign aimed at ending within a decade the problem of statelessness – a legal limbo which prevents persons to have nationality and the human rights protections that go with it. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) partnered with the United Colors of Benetton to create the I Belong, campaign which aims to draw global attention to the life-long consequences of statelessness with the goal to end this condition within 10 years. UNHCR underscored that every 10 minutes, a baby is born stateless. Since they are not allowed a nationality, these children are often denied the rights and services that countries normally offer their citizens. Moreover, 27 countries currently deny women the right to pass their nationality onto their children on an equal basis as men, which can create chains of statelessness spanning generations. Despite some progress, new risks of statelessness have emerged as a result of growing numbers of major conflicts worldwide. The wars in the Central African Republic and Syria, for example, have forced millions of people into internal displacement or into becoming refugees. While issues of statelessness remain politically contentious in some countries, in others ending it can be as simple as changing a few words in a country's citizenship law. Over the past decade, 4 million stateless people have been able to acquire a national or have their nationality confirmed as a result of legislative and policy changes.

Published in Citizenship.
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