Over 50,000 people across Central Asia do not have a nationality – they are stateless.
Without a nationality, they often have difficulty accessing basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement. With no legal status or valid identification documents, it’s like these people do not exist.
On the 8th anniversary of the global #IBelong Campaign to End Statelessness, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has launched its third Regional Statelessness Competition, inviting youth in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to submit written, visual or audiovisual works that explore the issue of statelessness.
If you are between 15 and 24 years old, we invite you to submit your works – from essays and research papers, to paintings, podcasts and more – via the registration form below.
Submissions will be judged by UNHCR staff and partner organizations that support stateless populations in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
You can submit your works in the following categories:
The Panel will evaluate each category separately and select a winner and a runner-up in each. The prize for winners in each category is a laptop, and tablets for runners-up.
Deadline for submissions is 11:59 PM (GMT+6), 27 November 2022. The award-winners will be announced on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2022.
Today millions of people around the world are denied a nationality. They often aren’t allowed to go to school, see a doctor, get a job, open a bank account, buy a house or even get married.
Launched in 2014, the #IBelong Campaign aims to end statelessness in ten years by identifying and protecting stateless people, resolving existing situations of statelessness and preventing the emergence of new cases.
Through legal advocacy and awareness-raising, UNHCR works with governments, parliaments, authorities, and civil society across Central Asia to achieve the campaign goals.
For over a decade Central Asian States, supported by UNHCR, have made significant progress in reducing and preventing statelessness on their territories, resolving 163,829 cases of stateless since 2014. As of mid-2022, nearly 50,000 people are known to be stateless across Central Asia, though with stateless people continually identified, the true number is believed to be higher.
Most stateless people in Central Asia are ex-citizens of the former Soviet Union who have not yet acquired or confirmed citizenship of the independent States. Others are born stateless or became stateless due to gaps in nationality laws, international migration, and mixed marriages.
With only two years left of the #IBelong campaign, UNHCR and partners continue supporting the efforts of Central Asian States to accede to the Statelessness Conventions, develop and strengthen dedicated statelessness determination procedures, and align national legislation and practices with international standards.
The #IBelong Campaign to End Statelessness contributes to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.9: By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration. Ending statelessness also contributes to SDG targets relating to gender equality, education, work and health, among others.
Ensuring that no one is left behind is key to commitments made by all nations, to strive for peace and prosperity for people and the planet.
To participate in the 2022 Regional Statelessness Competition for youth, you must be:
Persons affiliated with UNHCR staff and partners implementing UNHCR projects cannot participate in this competition.
Competition works must:
One participant can submit an unlimited number of works in each category.
In assessing written works, reviewers will take into account:
The Panel will review visual and audiovisual works – including the 150 – 500 word summary – according to:
The deadline for submissions is 11:59 PM (GMT+6), 27 November 2022.
To participate in the competition, complete the registration form below, attaching your work (or photo, in case of paintings, sculptures) and accompanying summary.
Questions should be sent to [email protected]