Addressing Statelessness Through the Rule of Law
More than 4.3 million people are stateless—that is, they are not recognized as a national by any country. Stateless people are often denied access to education, health care, employment, property ownership, freedom of movement, and political participation, and they are at a heightened risk of abuse and exploitation. The very existence of statelessness is at odds with the aspirations of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and the reduction of statelessness is vital to delivering sustainable development for all.
In response to this global phenomenon, IDLO collaborated with UNHCR, the UN refugees agency, to produce the issue brief Addressing Statelessness Through the Rule of Law. Drawing on existing evidence on the scope and consequences of statelessness, as well as analysis of key international legal frameworks and a range of country-specific case studies, the issue brief argues that, by upholding the rule of law, States can unlock lasting solutions to the anomaly of statelessness. Those solutions can, in turn, dramatically improve the lives and futures of stateless people, and the prospects for sustainable development in the societies in which they live.
The issue brief concludes with a set of recommendations for policymakers focusing on:
- Equality before the law and non-discrimination
- Compliance with international human rights norms and standards
- Legal empowerment and access to justice
- Inclusive and participatory system of governance
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