Stateless persons

Statelessness can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • laws and policies that discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or gender
  • 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 nationality
  • lack of birth registration and documentation
  • risks of statelessness can also arise in situations of migration and forced displacement

UNHCR has been mandated by the UN General Assembly to lead global efforts to address statelessness joining partners from different sectors within the global campaign #IBelong.

Stateless persons are particularly vulnerable when it comes to the services provided by a given state to its nationals, namely related to the access to healthcare, education, employment, as well as facilitation of all kinds of acts of civil status. Statelessness needs to be monitored and addressed, in order to reach those people who are often left furthest behind.

In Belarus, UNHCR works closely with the national partners on advocacy, legislation and assistance to stateless people.