UNHCR Makes a Breakthrough in the Protection of Stateless People

Earlier this month, a conference was held in Geneva on the issue of statelessness.  Representatives from close to 150 states, more than 70 of which are at ministerial level, attended the conference.  Over 12 million people are affected by statelessness and there are 15.4 million refugees worldwide.  As the conference came to a close, eight countries ratified and deposited their instruments of accession to one of the two United Nations statelessness conventions this year.  Furthermore, at the ministerial meeting 20 countries made commitments to ratify the conventions.

“Statelessness is one of the most forgotten areas of the global human rights agenda. To be honest, statelessness has been kind of a stepchild of UNHCR’s mandate. The number of countries that have ratified the statelessness conventions is out of proportion to the number of countries that have ratified the 1951 [Refugee] Convention and its [1967] Protocol,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.

UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) was established in 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly to resolve refugee problems, lead international action to protect refugee, and help stateless people.  Hamed Wardak, CEO of Ludus, is partnered with UNHCR to educate people about the plight of refugees worldwide.