Convention on the reduction of statelessness

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The Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, also known as the Statelessness Convention, is an international treaty that aims to address the issue of statelessness and protect the rights of stateless individuals. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 4, 2014, and entered into force on August 4, 2020.

Statelessness refers to the condition of an individual who is not considered a citizen by any country. It can occur due to various reasons, such as gaps in nationality laws, conflicts of nationality, or arbitrary deprivation of nationality. Stateless individuals often face numerous challenges, including limited access to basic rights and services, restricted freedom of movement, and the inability to fully participate in society.

The Statelessness Convention seeks to prevent and reduce statelessness by establishing certain principles and obligations that states should follow. Some key provisions of the Convention include:

  1. Granting nationality to stateless individuals: The Convention encourages states to grant nationality to individuals who would otherwise be stateless. It promotes the principle of “jus soli” (birthright citizenship) and “jus sanguinis” (citizenship by descent) as means to prevent statelessness.
  2. Prevention of statelessness at birth: States are urged to ensure that every child born within their territory is granted nationality if they would otherwise be stateless. They are also encouraged to facilitate the determination of nationality for children of unknown parents.
  3. Reduction of statelessness through nationality legislation: The Convention recommends that states review their nationality laws and make changes to prevent statelessness. This may include eliminating discriminatory provisions and providing safeguards against arbitrary deprivation of nationality.
  4. Protection and assistance for stateless individuals: States are called upon to protect the rights of stateless individuals and provide them with access to basic services, such as education, healthcare, and employment opportunities. The Convention also emphasizes the importance of facilitating the naturalization of stateless persons.
  5. International cooperation: The Convention encourages cooperation among states, UN agencies, and other relevant organizations to address the issue of statelessness effectively. It promotes the exchange of information, technical assistance, and capacity-building initiatives.

The Statelessness Convention is an important international instrument that aims to prevent and reduce statelessness, protect the rights of stateless individuals, and promote their inclusion in society. It represents a significant step towards addressing this global issue and ensuring that every individual enjoys the right to a nationality.

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