Charity Begins at Home: UNHCR Kenya Staff Members Sign the Open Letter to End Statelessness

#IBELONG to a world where everyone has the right to a nationality

NAIROBI, 6 June 2016 – Today, UNHCR Staff members in Nairobi joined the rest of the world in signing the Open Letter to End Statelessness. The Open Letter is part of the media element of the Global Campaign to End Statelessness.

There are an estimated 20,000 stateless people in Kenya. Globally, there are about 10 Million stateless people. Statelessness occurs because of many reasons, the main one being discrimination.

“It is our mandate as UNHCR to end statelessness,” said Wella Kouyou, UNHCR Kenya Deputy Representative. “We need strong advocacy from all stakeholders in order to find a long-lasting solution for statelessness in Kenya and globally.”

Catherine Hamon Sharpe, UNHCR Assistant Representative (Protection) added that it is very critical that UNHCR gets the support because stateless persons are unknown. “By signing this Open Letter we are giving a voice to stateless people in Kenya, who do not exist in records because they lack legal identity,” she added. “We are speaking on their behalf.”

“A lot has been done by the Kenyan authorities but continuous commitment is very crucial”, emphasized Catherine.

“Across the world today more than ten million people are told they don’t belong ANYWHERE. They are called ‘stateless’. They are denied a nationality. And with it, they are denied their basic rights. Statelessness can mean a life without education, without medical care, or legal employment. It can mean a life without the ability to move freely, without prospects, or hope. Statelessness is inhumane.” Reads the Open Letter to End Statelessness

Sign The Open Letter to End Statelessness and become part of the global movement to end this injustice here

Here are photos of some of UNHCR colleagues after signing the Open Letter.












By Modesta Ndubi and Wanja Munaita, UNHCR