A global forum is underway in the Hague, the Netherlands, to discuss ways to address statelessness. The United Nations says it will soon launch a campaign aimed at eradicating the problem within a decade.

Stateless people are not recognised as citizens by any country and typically have no rights to the benefits most people take for granted.

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They are often unable to work, access healthcare or send their children to school. Without citizenship they are vulnerable to exploitation, including slavery and prostitution.

People end up stateless for a host of complex historical, social and legal reasons – including migration, flawed citizenship laws and discrimination.

There are large stateless populations in Myanmar, Ivory Coast, Thailand, Nepal, Kuwait and some of the countries that were once part of the former Soviet Union.

So, how difficult is it to put an end to statelessness? And what is the reason behind it?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Volker Turk - leader of international protection at UNHCR.

Mohamad Alenezi - founder of Kuwaiti Bedoons Movement, an organization that highlights the rights of stateless Bedouin people in Kuwait.

Laura Van Waas - senior Rrsearcher and manager of the Stateless Programme at Tilburg Law School, Author of the book 'Nationality Matters'. 

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