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The World's Stateless: Children
Thu 2 February 2017, 17:30 – 19:30 GMT
International law protects the right of every child to acquire a nationality.
Yet, childhood statelessness pervades all regions of the world.
At least a third of the 15 million people who face life without a nationality today, are children.
And, every ten minutes, another child is born stateless.
The disconnect between the recognition of nationality as a fundamental child right and the reality of childhood statelessness presents a massive challenge, but also opens up a wealth of opportunities. Childhood statelessness is entirely preventable. It is never in a child’s best interests to be stateless, nor is it ever a child’s “fault” if they are left without nationality. By focusing on children, we can desensitise the issue of nationality, focus on the future (i.e. on including a new generation, leaving historical animosities in the past) and halt the spread of statelessness. Not only does this allow us to protect children who are born today from marginalisation and from a life in limbo, it also helps to lay the groundwork for more comprehensive solutions in the longer term.
The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion is proud to devote the second edition of its flagship "World's Stateless" report to exploring the urgency of and opportunities for addressing childhood statelessness. Over 50 experts and organisations have contributed material - essays, reflection pieces, interviews with affected families - to the report. In addition to six substantive chapters dealing with different dimensions of childhood statelessness, the report also offers a more general overview on the state of statelessness globally at the start of 2017.
At this event, speakers from UNHCR, civil society and the artistic world will address the state of the World's Stateless today, with a particular focus on the opportunities and challenges in helping stateless children. They will speak to the momentum galvanised by UNHCR's #ibelong campaign to end statelessness, to the ongoing challenge of realising equal nationality rights for women and men worldwide, to the significance of the Sustainable Development Goals and legal identity target 16.9 for promoting the enjoyment of the right to a nationality and the experience of spending time with and photographing stateless and their families around the world.
The event will be followed by a drinks reception.
The discussion will be moderated by Kerry Neal (UNICEF). The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion is grateful to Open Society Justice Initiative and to Ashurst LLP for supporting this event.
Photo credit: Saiful Huq Omi