United Colors of Benetton develops #IBelong Campaign in support of UNHCR's aim to end statelessness by 2024

The United Colors of Benetton's #IBelong creative campaign gives a face and voice to the world's invisible stateless people. The visual tools and products developed by United Colors of Benetton will galvanize the general public helping UNHCR reach its goal of 10 million supporters in ten years to end statelessness.

At least ten million people worldwide are stateless and a baby is born stateless every ten minutes. Without a nationality, they are denied all the protections, rights and services that countries normally offer their citizens. Stateless people are often denied the right to education, health care, employment, freedom of movement. They are unable to do those things others take for granted like getting married, registering the birth of babies, or even having a proper burial or death certificate at the end of their lives. Stateless people often live their lives unseen, unheard and unrepresented.

Stateless people have done nothing to deserve this stigma; they are born stateless, will die stateless and will unfortunately pass their statelessness on to the next generation- unless this scourge is stopped. Often statelessness is a direct consequence of discrimination against their ethnicity, religion or gender. Twenty -seven countries deny women the right to pass their nationality onto their children, a situation that creates chains of statelessness that span generations. There is also a very real link between statelessness, displacement and regional instability. The strong visuals of the #IBelong campaign and an engaging online call to action that asks the public to sign an open letter to end statelessness form the creative backbone to this ambitious effort. United Colors of Benetton has created a beautiful and dynamic interactive map that will document the online support for the #IBelong campaign. All these visual, digital and online tools will allow UNHCR and campaign supporters to spread the message and galvanize support to end statelessness worldwide.

"It is an unacceptable tragedy that millions of people are living without a nationality. Unlike many other problems facing the world today, resolving statelessness is fully within our reach. We now have the opportunity, as never before, to tackle this injustice," said High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, "With the United Colors of Benetton's excellent support, I hope this campaign will reach millions and gain much-needed public support to end statelessness."

Over its nearly 50-year history, United Colors of Benetton's commitment to social issues has always been central to the philosophy of the brand. Its commitment has come across most strongly with its social communications campaigns and numerous collaborations with leading non-profit organisations, including UNHCR, UNDPI and UN Women, whose purpose has been to give voice to efforts to combat discrimination, social hardship, marginalisation, violence and lack of freedom, and to make the public reflect on and be aware of issues of universal relevance. This commitment has also found its natural outlet in United Colors of Benetton's own UNHATE Foundation, which combats discrimination and promotes youth and art to encourage a culture of non-hatred.

In this spirit, Fabrica, the communication research centre of the Benetton Group, the company that owns the United Colors of Benetton brand, has developed the creative campaign #IBelong to support UNHCR's efforts to end global statelessness.

About UNHCR

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, also known as the UN refugee agency, was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. UNHCR safeguards the rights and well-being of refugees and helps find durable solutions to their plight. In more than six decades, the agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives. UNHCR also helps people who have become forcibly displaced inside their own countries, and stateless people. UNHCR is on the front lines of the world's major humanitarian crises, including Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and countless other emergencies.

Read more at www.unhcr.org

About United Colors of Benetton

Today Benetton Group is one of the best-known fashion companies in the world, present in the most important markets in the world with a network of over 6,000 stores; a responsible group that plans for the future and lives in the present, with a watchful eye to the environment, to human dignity, and to a society in transformation.

The Group has a consolidated identity comprised of colour, authentic fashion, quality at democratic prices and passion for its work: these values are reflected in the the strong, dynamic personality of the brands United Colors of Benetton and Sisley.

About UNHATE Foundation

The UNHATE Foundation, desired and founded by Benetton Group, seeks to contribute to the creation of a new culture against hate, building on Benetton's underpinning values. The core principles through which the Foundation operates are: the fight against hate and discrimination in all its forms; the support of new generations, where youth are the main actors and beneficiaries of concrete projects, communication campaigns and education activities; the dissemination of the social impact of Art, as the key tool of the Foundation in its activities against hate and discrimination.UNHATE Foundation is another important step in Benetton Group's corporate responsibility strategy: a contribution that will have a real impact in the international community, involving a variety of stakeholders: the new generations, institutions, international organizations and NGOs, civil society and the general public.

For further information about the #IBelong campaign, please contact:

BENETTON GROUP

Valentina Zoppas

Corporate Communications & Public Affairs

Tel. +39 0422 519744

Email: press@benetton.it; vzoppas@benetton.it

benettongroup.com/press

benettongroup.com/sustainability/social-commitment

unhate.benetton.com

benetton.com

UNHCR's Campaign to end Statelessness in Ten Years

More information here:

http://www.unhcr.org/ibelong

Media resources available here:

http://www.unhcr.org/stateless2014