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Who is Stateless and Where?

Who We Help
© UNHCR / G.M.B. Akash

The exact number of stateless people is not known, but UNHCR estimates that there are at least 10 million globally. They are found in all regions.

Statelessness due to the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union continues to affect over 600,000 people. Areas that have seen large movements of people due to war or economic migration have also been significantly affected. In West Africa, the estimated stateless population in Côte d'Ivoire is 700,000, many of whom are of Burkinabe ancestry and were not eligible for Ivorian nationality after the country’s independence from France in 1960.

Other large stateless populations are the product of policies which exclude people deemed to be foreign, despite their deep roots in the countries concerned. More than 1 million people in Myanmar’s Rakhine state are stateless on the basis of the current citizenship law. In the Dominican Republic, a Constitutional Court ruling in 2013 applied new nationality criteria retroactively and affected the nationality status of tens of thousands of people of Haitian descent born in the Dominican Republic.

Protracted Statelessness Situations

In many countries, statelessness situations have gone unresolved for decades - they have become "protracted."

Regional Expert Meetings

Examining the rights of stateless people in different regions.

UN Conventions on Statelessness

The two UN statelessness conventions are the key legal instruments in the protection of stateless people around the world.

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