Who We Help
© UNHCR / G.M.B. Akash


The easiest and most effective way to deal with statelessness is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. With this in mind, UNHCR provides legal advice to governments on how to ensure that their nationality laws are compliant with standards set out in the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and other relevant human rights treaties. For example, it advises states on the safeguards which are required in nationality laws to ensure that no child born on a particular country's territory would end up stateless.

Since the causes of statelessness go beyond gaps in nationality legislation, UNHCR also works to ensure that the way nationality matters are dealt with, country by country, is improved. This can include strengthening civil registration systems, promoting the importance of documenting a population, and providing training and technical advice to authorities to ensure that decisions on nationality are made without discrimination and in accordance with international human rights standards.



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#IBELONG: End Statelessness Now


Sign and share our Open Letter to End Statelessness by 2024.

Guidelines on Statelessness No. 4: Ensuring Every Child's Right to Acquire a Nationality through Articles 1-4 of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness

These Guidelines result from a series of expert consultations conducted in the context of the 50th Anniversary of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness in 2011.

Tunis Conclusions

These are summary conclusions on an expert meeting to interpret the 1961 Statelessness Convention and avoid statelessness resulting from loss and deprivation of nationality.

Good Practices Paper - Action 3: Removing Gender Discrimination from Nationality Laws

Achieving universal gender equality in nationality laws would constitute a major step forward in preventing statelessness.

Birth Registration: A Topic Proposed for an Executive Committee Conclusion on International Protection

A Topic Proposed for an Executive Committee Conclusion on International Protection) and text "Birth registration is fundamental to the prevention of statelessness.

Executive Committee Conclusion on Civil Registration

This Conclusion urges States to ensure civil registration and to make it accessible.

Climate Change and Statelessness: An Overview

This note underscores the need for early action to prevent statelessness that results from climate change and 'sinking islands'.

Nationality in relation to the succession of States

This International Law Commission memorandum contains an overview of the comments and observations of Governments on nationality issues in cases of State succession.

1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness

The 1961 Convention is the leading international instrument that sets rules for the conferral and non-withdrawal of citizenship to prevent statelessness.

Statelessness Documents on Refworld

Documents highlighting good practices to address statelessness are available in Refworld