Liberia: UNHCR Wants End to Child Statelessness


Liberia: UNHCR Wants End to Child Statelessness

All Africa, 04 Nov 2015

By Bridgett Milton

The United Nations High Commission on Refugees has stressed the need for urgent action against childhood statelessness. UNHCR says stateless children across the world share similar feelings of discrimination, frustration and despair.

Speaking Tuesday in Monrovia at press conference, UNHCR Deputy Representative, Ioli Kimyaci, said being denied a nationality is a grave human right violation.

On November 4, 2014 UNHCR launched #I Belong campaign to end statelessness in 10 years. Statelessness is a man-made problem that is relatively easy to solve and prevent.

Stateless young people are often denied opportunity to receive school qualifications, go to university and find a decent job. They face discrimination and harassment by authorities and are more vulnerable to exploitation. Their lack of nationality often sentences them and their families and communities to remain impoverished and marginalized for generations.

The Deputy Executive Director of the Liberia Refugees, Repatriation and Resettlement Commission and National Focal on statelessness said, Liberia is committed to human rights, fundamental freedoms and respect for human dignity and for this reason, the country is signatory to both statelessness conventions.

The LRRRC deputy boss said a mini-retreat was held with the Liberian Legislative committee on repatriation, relief and readjustment to brief that body on the current amended act to include provision on stateless persons.For her part, Cllr. Asatu Kanneh, Deputy Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization said, the BIN is willing to collaboration with UNHCR to end statelessness, as well as address issue of naturalization thru close interaction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.