International Conference on Statelessness in the member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States 

The outcomes of the Conference are summarized in the Final Document and Recommendations.

International Conference on Statelessness in the member states of the CIS © UNHCR / P. Erofeev

In 2014, UNHCR launched the Global #IBelong Campaign to End Statelessness within 10 Years.

To achieve the goals of the #IBelong Campaign, the Global Action Plan to End Statelessness (GAP) establishes a guiding framework comprised of 10 Actions to be undertaken by countries, with the support of UNHCR and other stakeholders, to resolve existing statelessness situations and prevent new cases of statelessness from arising.

The year 2019 will mark the mid-point of the #IBelong Campaign 2014-2024 and affords an important opportunity for UNHCR and others to take stock of the #IBelong Campaign’s achievements to date and to identify what more needs to be done to meet its goals as set out in the GAP.

UNHCR will commemorate the halfway mark of the #IBelong Campaign with the High-Level Segment on Statelessness, which will be held during the session of UNHCR Executive Committee in Geneva in October 2019.

The High-Level Segment will give States and others the opportunity to showcase key achievements in addressing statelessness since the #IBelong Campaign was launched in November 2014 and to deliver concrete pledges to address statelessness in the remaining 5 years of the #IBelong Campaign.

It is estimated that statelessness affects millions of people worldwide, including over half a million in Europe and over 200,000 in the Commonwealth of Independent States’ region.

Statelessness can be caused by a number of factors, including laws and policies that discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or gender, the emergence of new states and transfers of territory between existing states, and gaps in nationality legislation and administrative practices that can exclude people from acquiring citizenship.

Lack of birth registration and documentation can further increase the risk of statelessness by denying children legal proof of parentage and place of birth, which are important factors in determining citizenship.

Lastly, risks of statelessness can also arise in situations of migration and forced displacement.

In order to assess the issue of statelessness in the CIS region in more depth, the CIS Executive Committee, the Ministry of Interior of Belarus and UNHCR jointly organized the International Conference on Statelessness in the member states of the CIS that was held in Minsk on 4-5 December 2018.

This event gathered representatives from CIS countries, UNHCR and civil society representatives, as well as academia and independent experts.

The Conference also served as a platform for dialogue between the countries and participants representing international and regional organizations to share their good practices, challenges and experiences in how to overcome these in the lead up to the High-Level Segment in 2019 and to develop pledges to be delivered on that occasion.

 Read and download the Final Document and Recommendations  

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