UNHCR urges the United States to strengthen its fight against statelessnessListen /
The UN refugee agency and the Open Society Justice Initiative are jointly appealing to the United States Government to take further action to end the hardships facing stateless people in the United States. In a report released Monday, Citizens of Nowhere: Solutions for the Stateless in the U.S. the two organizations recommend changes that include action by the U.S. Congress and the Administration to resolve statelessness in the United States.
UNHCR's Washington-based regional representative Vincent Cochetel said that "For millions of people around the world statelessness is all too real," adding that "It means living without rights that most people take for granted, being at constant risk of detention, and having a life of ever-present fear and uncertainty".
He said "The U.S. has a long history as a global leader in human rights. At a December 2011 UNHCR ministerial conference in Geneva, the United States pledged to undertake important actions to reduce statelessness, both internationally and domestically".
Stateless individuals are people deprived of a citizenship and its benefits.
There are up to 12 million such people worldwide, although in the absence of reliable statistics it is hard to know precise numbers.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.