Statelessness, the situation where a person is not recognized by any State as a citizen, has devastating impacts on millions of people around the world. 4.2 million people were known to be stateless as of mid-2020, but with just 76 countries included in data reported by UNHCR, the actual number is likely to be much higher.

Statelessness deprives women and men, girls, and boys the right to enjoy basic rights that citizens may take for granted – the right to a legal identity, to move across borders, to own property, vote, access education, health services, and legal employment. As most situations of statelessness can be prevented or resolved through legislation, parliamentarians have a critical role to play in bringing the scourge of statelessness to an end. Join us for a webinar on 25 February, organized by UNHCR, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), and PHAP, in which we will discuss strategies and practical ways of mobilizing parliamentary action to end statelessness in the next four years.

In 2019, the inaugural Global Refugee Forum (GRF) and the High-Level Segment on Statelessness (HLS) resulted in unprecedented 396 pledges concerning statelessness submitted by States, international and regional organizations, and civil society. Seventy-nine States submitted 270 pledges relevant to eradicating statelessness globally, many of which call for parliamentary action.

On 25 February, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, UNHCR, and PHAP organized a webinar which placed particular attention on how to move beyond pledges made at the GRF and HLS in order to strengthen implementation of the #IBelong Campaign and the Global Action Plan to End Statelessness by 2024. Members of Parliaments who have led legislative efforts to address statelessness in their countries shared their experience and also had time for questions and discussion by webinar participants.

Recommended resources

To see the full list of HLS pledges by States please visit: https://www.unhcr.org/ibelong/results-of-the-high-level-segment-on-statelessness/

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Introductory Remarks

Mr. Martin Chungong Mr. Martin Chungong Secretary General, Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
Ms. Gillian Triggs Ms. Gillian Triggs UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection

Speakers

Mr. Abass Chernor Bundu Mr. Abass Chernor Bundu Speaker of Parliament, Sierra Leone
Mr. Gilang Dhielafararez Mr. Gilang Dhielafararez Member of The House of Representatives of Republic of Indonesia
Ms. Melanie Khanna Ms. Melanie Khanna Chief of Statelessness Section, Division of International Protection, UNHCR
Ms. Senida Mesi Ms. Senida Mesi Chair, Sub-Committee on Sustainable Development, Parliament of Albania
Ms. Tsirimaharo Ny Aina Rafenomanantsoa Ms. Tsirimaharo Ny Aina Rafenomanantsoa Députée, Rapporteur Général Adjoint de l’Assemblée nationale, Madagascar

Moderator

Dr. Agnes Vadai MP Dr. Agnes Vadai MP Chair, Committee to Promote Respect for International Humanitarian Law, Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
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