Campaign launched to end statelessness within 10 years

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A person being inteviewed which is an essential part of the stateless determination process. Photo: UNHCR/D. Telemans

A global campaign aimed at ending the problem of statelessness within ten years is being launched by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Geneva on Tuesday.

According to UNHCR, approximately 10 million people in the world are currently stateless, denied a nationality and the rights and services that countries normally offer their citizens.

The agency also points out that every ten minutes a new stateless person is born in the world.

Launching the campaign known as "I Belong", the head of UNHCR, Antonio Guterres said that although not all stateless people are in the same situation, many of them have no legal rights at all which means they legally don't exist.

"They have no access to public health or education. They have not access to legal work and some of them have not even a possibility of a death certificate. And this is absolutely unacceptable. It's, I would say, an anomaly in the 21st century. And that is the reason why we are launching a global campaign to eradicate statelessness in ten years time." (29")

As part of the campaign, Mr Guterres and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie and more than 20 celebrities have published a letter saying that 60 years after the United Nations first agreed to protect stateless people, "now it's time to end statelessness itself".

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’41″

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