Statelessness Around the World

In addition, because some 27 States around the world do not allow women to transfer nationality to their children, statelessness can occur where fathers are unknown, missing or deceased.

Areas that have experienced large-scale displacement have also been significantly affected by statelessness. In West Africa, the estimated stateless population in Côte d'Ivoire is 700,000, many of whom were migrants of Burkinabé descent who were not eligible for Ivorian nationality after the country's independence from France in 1960.

Statelessness due to the dissolution of former states also continues to affect many people, including some 600,000 people in Europe alone. 

There have been notable examples where, through political will, it has been possible to resolve large protracted situations of statelessness. For example, the case of some 300,000 Urdu-speakers (sometimes referred to as Biharis) was resolved in Bangladesh in 2008. Similarly, the situation of the Brasileirinhos Apatridás, stateless children born to Brazilian parents abroad who were unable to acquire Brazilian nationality unless they went back to live in Brazil, was resolved in 2007. Estonia and Latvia have also both recently taken steps to further facilitate the acquisition of citizenship by those born in Estonia and Latvia to non-citizen parents, which will help ensure that these situations are resolved over time.

Join our #IBelong Campaign

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

A Special Report: Ending Statelessness Within 10 years

A comprehensive overview of statelessness and its devastating impact.

Refugee ProtectionStatelessness

Global Action Plan to End Statelessness, 2014-2024

10 Actions which need to be undertaken to end statelessness by 2024.

Good Practices Paper: Resolving Existing Major Situations of Statelessness

To help States achieve the goals of its Campaign to End Statelessness within 10 Years.

Statelessness documents and reports on Refworld

Documents highlighting good practices to address statelessness are available in Refworld

Statistical Yearbooks

UNCHR's Statistical Yearbooks follow major trends in displacement, protection and solutions.