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UNHCR’s Mandate and Activities to Address Statelessness in Europe

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image of European Journal of Migration and Law

Abstract 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The year was marked by stepped-up, unprecedented activity, culminating in a ministerial-level conference organised by UNHCR, which proved to be a watershed for international efforts on statelessness. The anniversary was also a sobering reminder, however. Fifty years after the adoption of the Convention, statelessness remains a significant problem in Europe and around the world. This article takes stock of statelessness in Europe, understood here as the countries which belong to the Council of Europe, by looking at the four key components of UNHCR’s mandate: identification, prevention and reduction of statelessness and the protection of stateless persons. It does so by looking at some of the key activities undertaken with regard to each of these areas in turn, and ends with a brief analysis of where things stand following the anniversary of 1961 Convention.

Affiliations: 1: Statelessness Unit, Division of International Protection, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Case Postale 2500 CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt Switzerland


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