Global Action Plan to End Statelessness: 2014 – 2024

In a world comprised of States, the problem of statelessness remains a glaring anomaly with devastating impacts on the lives of millions of people around the world who live without any nationality.

In October 2013, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees called for the “total commitment of the international community to end statelessness.”2 The Global Action Plan to End Statelessness: 2014 – 2024 (Global Action Plan), developed in consultation with States, civil society and international organisations, sets out a guiding framework made up of 10 Actions that need to be taken to end statelessness within 10 years. Provided that there is adequate leadership and effective implementation of the Global Action Plan, statelessness can be ended within a decade. The Global Action Plan includes Actions to:

    • resolve existing situations of statelessness;
    • prevent new cases of statelessness from emerging; and
    • better identify and protect stateless persons.

The 10 Actions to end statelessness are:

    • Action 1: Resolve existing major situations of statelessness.
    • Action 2: Ensure that no child is born stateless.
    • Action 3: Remove gender discrimination from nationality laws.
    • Action 4: Prevent denial, loss or deprivation of nationality on discriminatory grounds.
    • Action 5: Prevent statelessness in cases of State succession.
    • Action 6: Grant protection status to stateless migrants and facilitate their naturalization.
    • Action 7: Ensure birth registration for the prevention of statelessness.
    • Action 8: Issue nationality documentation to those with entitlement to it.
    • Action 9: Accede to the UN Statelessness Conventions.
    • Action 10: Improve quantitative and qualitative data on stateless populations.

Because the causes, profile and magnitude of statelessness vary, not all Actions are required in all countries. Indeed, in the majority of cases, only one or two Actions will be relevant to address statelessness within specific country contexts. For this reason, the Actions presented in this Global Action Plan are not in order of implementation, priority or importance. For each Action, the Global Action Plan sets out available information (the Starting Point) and the Goals to be achieved within 10 years. It also includes Milestones, or interim targets, in 2017 and 2020, to mark progress towards achievement of the Goals. A number of the Actions are interrelated. Therefore, achievement of the Goals of one Action, could lead to partial achievement of the Goals of another Action. For example, increasing the number of States parties to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness under Action 9, could also lead to those States adopting or improving provisions in their nationality laws to ensure that no child is born stateless pursuant to Action 2. Countries are encouraged to accomplish Actions by developing and implementing National Action Plans (please see Annex 1). These National Action Plans can set out detailed strategies to complete selected Actions and indicate detailed country-level goals and milestones. It is recommended that National Action Plans are developed through a consultation process which includes the involvement of UNHCR, other UN and development actors and regional bodies where relevant, national institutions (relevant ministries, parliament, etc.), civil society and stateless groups. States are encouraged to undertake periodic reviews of their National Action Plans. UNHCR will report on progress achieved under the Global Action Plan every two years. In the absence of a National Action Plan, UNHCR will continue to promote key Actions within the country concerned.

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