The Central Asian Network on Statelessness Held its Fourth Annual Meeting

On 31 July 2019, the Central Asian Network on Statelessness (CANS) with UNHCR’s support conducted its fourth annual meeting in Almaty. The goal of the meeting was to mark the mid-point of UNHCR #IBELONG Campaign to End Statelessness and review activities on reduction and prevention of statelessness in Central Asia. Participants […]

On 31 July 2019, the Central Asian Network on Statelessness (CANS) with UNHCR’s support conducted its fourth annual meeting in Almaty. The goal of the meeting was to mark the mid-point of UNHCR #IBELONG Campaign to End Statelessness and review activities on reduction and prevention of statelessness in Central Asia.

Participants presented achievements of their respective countries on reduction and prevention of statelessness as part of #IBELONG campaign. They also discussed CANS work plan for 2019-2020 and CANS strategy for 2020-2022. Based on group discussions, CANS members identified a few actions points and recommendations for the network development, such as:

  • running advocacy campaigns to encourage Central Asian countries to join the UN Statelessness Conventions
  • stepping-up outreach activities, including regular events on statelessness and promotion of #IBELONG campaign in the region
  • increased focus on capacity building, research and analytical work, donor relationships and fundraising for CANS institutional development.

Since its establishment in 2016, CANS has developed its own website, defined an internal mechanism to administer the network and issued a publication about CANS work with practical information for stakeholders and beneficiaries in Central Asia on how to prevent statelessness. In October 2019 as part of UNHCR High-Level Segment on Statelessness, an intergovernmental meeting of United Nations Member States and other stakeholders, CANS will take part in the  side-event organized by the civil society, including CANS partner – the European Network on Statelessness.,

CANS was founded based on  examples of peer networks in other countries – the European Network on Statelessness (ENS) and the Americas Network on Nationality and Statelessness (Red ANA). ENS also provided valuable support in establishment and development of the network in Central Asia. Allan Leas, Chair of ENS Board of Trustees, participated in in 2016 in the initial discussions of establishing CANS. In 2019, CANS invited Allan again to share experience on fundraising and advocacy.

After observing discussions of network participants, Allan noted that CANS made a few good achievements in recent years: “There was enthusiasm for creation of Central Asian Network on Statelessness, and there was realistic understanding that it will not be easy to achieve. It was a good thing that no one ignored challenges on building a network in Central Asia. In 2015 those of you who were present agreed on the way forward. And today, four years later, you made significant process.”

“I think as a developing network of key agencies in the region, working on statelessness CANS can play a vital role as an expert network in Central Asia. I am of the belief that other sister networks will look to CANS in the future as first point of contact. There is nothing more attractive than civil society organizations coming together and working together to advocate on issues as vitally important as reducing statelessness.”

Allan Leas, Chair of  the European Network on Statelessness Board of Trustees

The Central Asian Network on Statelessness was established in 2016 with support from UNHCR as the platform for a direct and effective dialogue for the exchange of information and experience on prevention and reduction of statelessness in the region. CANS includes 11 members representing from five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan).