Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) called on the countries of the world to urgently resolve the situation of more than 4,2 million people without nationality or stateless towards 2024, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the crisis in which they live.
The UNHCR High Commissioner, Filippo Grandi assured that the conditions in which millions of stateless people live has worsened as a result of the pandemic, which makes it more urgent for States to end the limbo they suffer towards the 2024 faced with the need for greater inclusion.
UNHCR believes that the health crisis has exacerbated many of the hardships and injustices faced by stateless people who are estimated to be 4,2 million 76 countries, However, the real number is believed to be “considerably higher” since they are not always counted or included in national censuses.
The UN body claims that lacking important legal rights and often without access to essential services, many stateless people are politically and economically marginalized, a situation that makes them more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
However, some countries have included stateless people in their response to COVID-19, making sure they have access to tests and treatment, foods, clothes and masks.
Although greater speed is required in the changes, there are advances to be highlighted, UNHCR said that since the beginning of the #IBelong Campaign (I belong) in 2014 almost 350.000 stateless people acquired a nationality in places as diverse as the Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Thailand, Tajikistan, Russia, Sweden, Vietnam and Uzbekistan.
Likewise 16 countries have created or improved procedures to identify stateless persons in their territory and some established simplified mechanisms to obtain citizenship.
"To protect and save lives, We urge governments to resolve statelessness and make sure no one is left behind ”, added Grandi.