Friday, August 26, 2011

UNHCR launches new campaign against Statelessness

A photo by Greg Constantine for a UNHCR photo essay on statelessness.
Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Convention, UNHCR announced today that they are launching a new campaign to combat statelessness.
"These people are in desperate need of help because they live in a nightmarish legal limbo," says António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "This makes them some of the most excluded people in the world. Apart from the misery caused to the people themselves, the effect of marginalizing whole groups of people across generations creates great stress in the societies they live in and is sometimes a source of conflict."
So that's good news, right? The campaign will apparently entail renewed efforts to encourage states to sign the statelessness convention, challenges to citizenship laws that left people out after state succession, and publicity to clarify definitions and get the issue "on the public agenda."

It's heartening to see that statelessness is receiving so much attention lately! Let's hope the mounting pressure from UNHCR has an impact!

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