Today the Ministry of Digital Development jointly with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, conducted a national roundtable to review experience of other countries in implementing the 1954 and 1961 Statelessness Conventions and how this experience could be applied to Kyrgyzstan.
Authorities, civil society organisations, and UN agencies also discussed the implementation of the four pledges formulated by Kyrgyzstan at the High-Level Segment on Statelessness in 2019, as well as other recommended amendments of legislation and practices.
“One priority of Kyrgyzstan national policy is to provide everyone an opportunity for full participation in society by ensuring access to basic rights. To achieve this goal, the Kyrgyz Republic aims to continue efforts on eradication of statelessness in the country in cooperation with civil society organizations and international partners”, said Ms. Eliza Esenalieva, Director of the Department of Population Registration under the Ministry of Digital Development.
UNHCR, jointly with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), also launched a Kyrgyz language version of the Handbook for Parliamentarians on good practices in nationality laws for the prevention and reduction of statelessness. The IPU and UNHCR have long collaborated in supporting the ability of Parliaments to reform nationality laws in accordance with international standards designed to help prevent statelessness from arising.
“As most situations of statelessness can be prevented or resolved through legislation, parliamentarians play a critical role in bringing the scourge of statelessness to an end. Kyrgyzstan has a great opportunity to lead the way and we do hope that today’s event will help build momentum to that end,” stressed Mr. Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary General.
“After Kyrgyzstan identified and solved all known cases of statelessness, now is the time to step up efforts to prevent statelessness from re-occurring by implementing the four good related pledges the Government made three years ago. UNHCR remains committed to support the country to achieve all goals of the global #IBelong Campaign to end statelessness by 2024. Today’s event has shown that the Kyrgyz Republic is ready to join a majority of other states in becoming party to the 1954 and the 1961 Statelessness Conventions,” said Mr. Hans Friedrich Schodder, UNHCR Representative for Central Asia.
The 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness are key international treaties that specifically address statelessness. The 1961 Convention aims to prevent statelessness and reduce it over time, while the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons is designed to ensure that stateless people enjoy a minimum set of rights.
In 2019 Kyrgyzstan became a historic first to resolve all known cases of statelessness. However, due to incomplete safeguards in the legislation, people continue to be rendered stateless.