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Stateless Actions - Prevention

Who We Help
© UNHCR / G.M.B. Akash


The easiest and most effective way to deal with statelessness is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. With this aim in mind, UNHCR works actively to close gaps in legislation which lead to statelessness. In many countries, we provide advice on how to amend legislation to bring it into line with the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and other international treaties. One of the most important safeguards against statelessness is that every child who would otherwise be stateless should be entitled to receive the nationality of the country where he or she was born. UNHCR's advice on legislation is even more important when it comes to state succession, that is when new countries are created or territory is passed from one land to another.

Preventing statelessness that is linked to discriminatory practices is more difficult. UNHCR trains government officials on legal standards and good administrative practices and raises awareness on the consequences of statelessness. Together with organizations like the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), we also help to ensure that children are registered at birth to prove their link with a state. Making use of international treaties that prohibit discrimination based on grounds such as race, ethnicity or sex, UNHCR monitors country situations and intervenes to address protection problems linked to statelessness.




Birth Registration

Birth registration helps to protect persons of concern and to prevent statelessness.

Statelessness Documents on Refworld

Refworld contains a wealth of documents related to statelessness, including legal, policy and background information. Read more.