UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has together with the Swedish Organization Against Statelessness (SOAS) produced the joint seminar “The right to a nationality – the right to human rights” on the issue of statelessness.
The seminar explores the causes and impact of statelessness, or the condition of not being recognized as a citizen of any state. Without citizenship, stateless persons often do not have access to basic rights such as the right to work, education and health care.
During the seminar, Wilfried Buchhorn, the Deputy Representative of UNHCR’s Representation of the Nordic and Baltic Countries, and Jehna Al-Moushahidi, founder of the Swedish Organization Against Statelessness (SOAS), discuss the current situation of stateless persons globally and in Sweden as well as what is being done to address the challenge.
UNHCR is currently running the #IBelong campaign which calls for an end to statelessness by 2024. Although important progress has been made, continued efforts are needed in order to ensure everyone’s right to a nationality.
In Sweden, around 27,000 persons are stateless or have “unknown nationality”. In 2016, UNHCR published the report “Mapping Statelessness in Sweden”, which provides an analysis of Swedish legislation, policy and practices on statelessness and puts forward a set of recommendations. UNHCR recommends Sweden to implement a statelessness determination procedure as well as to strengthen safeguards for children born stateless in Sweden.