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Stateless Actions - Reduction

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© UNHCR / G. Constantine

Reduction of statelessness means finding a durable solution for people caught in statelessness situations. While the lives of many stateless people can be improved through measures such as access to education, health care and identity documentation, these benefits are not the same as having citizenship.

UNHCR thus strives to help the stateless acquire a nationality or obtain confirmation of their nationality. The refugee agency supports the revision of legislation and the conduct of large-scale citizenship campaigns that include reaching out to stateless people through mobile registration teams and raising public awareness.

On a smaller scale, in many countries UNHCR cooperates with local and international non-governmental organizations which provide invaluable assistance and advice to stateless people in their quest for citizenship. UNHCR also tries to help stateless people by advocating for lower requirements for naturalization.

But possessing a nationality cannot overnight undo the effects of years of discrimination. UNHCR therefore lobbies for the inclusion of formerly stateless people into development programmes to ensure that they become fully participating members of society, enjoying the same rights as other citizens.