Stateless People

The 1954 UN Statelessness Convention defines a stateless person as “someone who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law”.  Stateless people may have difficulty accessing basic rights such as education, health care, employment and freedom of movement and they can face a lifetime of obstacles and disappointment. UNHCR estimates that there are around 160,000 stateless people in Syria.

The United Nations General Assembly entrusted UNHCR with a global mandate to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness and to protect stateless persons. In November 2014, UNHCR launched a Global Campaign to bring an end to statelessness by 2024 (#IBelong Campaign) by resolving existing situations and preventing the emergence of new cases of statelessness. As part of the campaign, UNHCR in consultation with interested governments, civil society and other international organizations developed a Global Action Plan (GAP) establishing a guiding framework of 10 actions to be undertaken by states, with the support of UNHCR and other stakeholders, to reach the goal of ending statelessness within ten years.