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Stateless - Other Organizations

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© UNHCR / G. Constantine

Who UNHCR Works with to Help the Stateless

We work with many partners, including governments, civil society and major humanitarian organizations to address statelessness. Many international bodies, including sister agencies such as the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), also have mandates that relate to statelessness. UNICEF cooperates with UNHCR when it comes to realizing every child's right to a nationality, in particular through birth registration. While OHCHR and UNHCR focus on the human rights side of statelessness, cooperation with the UN Development Fund (UNDP) aims at the full integration of stateless people into society, through access to justice or development programmes.

UNHCR also works with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to try and pinpoint the number of stateless people, a difficult task because not all countries have the willingness or the mechanisms in place to determine true numbers.

Aside from UN organizations, the refugee agency also works on statelessness issues with bodies such as the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union. In 2005, the two produced an awareness-raising handbook on statelessness that has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

At the operational level, UNHCR works with several non-governmental organizations (NGO) to address statelessness. They provide legal advice and assistance so that stateless people have less difficulties confirming their nationality, acquiring documentation that proves their nationality or going through naturalization procedures. They also conduct outreach campaigns to inform the public about citizenship. NGOs also help address statelessness through advocacy at the national and international level.

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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