At least 4.4 million people are stateless, UN says

At least 4.4 million people in 95 countries are stateless or of undetermined nationality, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said on Saturday

In its annual report marking the 9th anniversary of its #IBelong campaign, the UNHCR said the actual figure globally is believed to be significantly higher, “given the relative invisibility of stateless people in national statistical exercises.”

The cost of being stateless

The agency noted that stateless people, often belonging to minority groups, are often deprived of human rights and access to basic services.

This leaves them “politically and economically marginalized and vulnerable to discrimination, exploitation and abuse.”

“With rising global forced displacement, millions are being left on the margins, deprived of their basic human rights, including participating in and contributing to society,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi. “This exclusion is unjust and must be addressed.”

In total, 97 countries are now party to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, and 79 are party to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

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