UN urges rights recognition for stateless people
The call came during the opening of the first Global Forum on Statelessness in The Hague on Monday, during which the UNHCR’s director of international protection, Volker Türk, said that an estimated 10 million people still live without legal identities and are not recognized by any state.
Stateless people are often denied the rights such as access to education, healthcare, the ability to legally work or travel freely, he said, adding that without identity documents or legal status, they simply “fall through the gaps in society.”
“It is difficult to imagine that there are individuals in today’s world whom no state recognizes as its citizen,” Türk noted. “Simply put, it is morally untenable to allow statelessness, and the needless suffering it inflicts, to exist.”
He further said that a large number of children are being born unregistered and stateless every year across the globe and their future could be “very grim indeed unless we all act to stop this.”
The UNHCR believes that as many as 50,000 undocumented babies, mainly the children of Syrian refugees, have been born in Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Jordan over the past three years.
The UNHCR has warned that a failure to deal with the number of people that continue to be rendered stateless could cause “havoc” and contribute to the refugee crisis in the world.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. More than 191,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions of others displaced in the over three years of conflict in the Arab country.
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