25 February 2012

Statelessness Guidelines

UNHCR has begun issuing "Guidelines on Statelessness." The first is "The Definition of 'Stateless Person' in Article 1(1) of the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons." The aim is to "provide interpretive legal guidance for governments, NGOs, legal practitioners, decision-makers and the judiciary, as well as for UNHCR staff and other UN agencies involved in addressing statelessness."

The guidelines are a result of a series of expert consultations that were held to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The meetings included:

  • Expert Meeting on the Concept of Stateless Persons under International Law, Prato, Italy, 27-28 May 2010 [summary conclusions] [background paper]
  • Expert Meeting on Statelessness Determination Procedures & Statelessness Status at the National Level, Geneva, 6-7 December 2010 [summary conclusions]
  • Expert Meeting on Interpreting the 1961 Statelessness Convention and Preventing Statelessness among Children, Dakar, 23-24 May 2011 [summary conclusions]

Forthcoming guidelines will purportedly address "Procedures for Determining whether an Individual is a Stateless Person" and "The Status of Stateless Persons at the National Level." Ultimately, they will culminate in a UNHCR Handbook on Statelessness.

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