Birth certificates to prevent statelessness

When baby Idrees’ house was destroyed in Syria, his family lost everything except for what was kept inside his grandmother’s purse. His family was forced to flee to neighbouring Jordan, where they now live in Zaatari refugee camp.

His birth certificate – the only proof of his Syrian identity – was burned in the rubble. Without a birth certificate, Idrees may not be recognized as Syrian and risks becoming stateless. View his story in this video:


A solution has recently been found to Idrees’ situation and hopefully he will receive new legal documentation that proves his identity and helps to keep his family together.

However, since 2011, over 142,000 children have been born in exile to people fleeing Syria. Without birth certificates, which are one of the main means of determining who a child’s parents are and what nationality they are entitled to, these children risk becoming stateless in the future.

Since September 2013, a new programme has allowed more than 3,500 Syrian refugee children born inside Zaatari refugee camp to receive birth certificates. This is just one example of how, even in times of crisis, we can work to prevent statelessness.

Please help us ensure more measures like this are taken to end statelessness around the world. If you haven’t already, please sign the Open Letter to End Statelessness today.

Sign Open Letter

9 year old Rama thinks being stateless is unfair

All mothers want the best for their children, especially Amal from Lebanon. She got married to a stateless man and got two children, both stateless. Her daughter, Rama, thinks this is not fair. Watch this video and find out why.

Costa Rica says #IBelong

President of Costa Rica and his cabinet sign the #IBelong Campaign Open Letter to End Statelessness.

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