‘Dangerous nationalism’ seriously threatens efforts to tackle statelessness: UNHCR chief

© UNICEF/Bashir Sujan The Kutupalong-Balukhali camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, is home to more than 600,000 stateless Rohingya refugees.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Hate speech and misguided nationalism present a serious threat to efforts to tackle statelessness, despite growing public awareness of the problem, UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi said on Monday.

Speaking at a meeting in Geneva aiming to convince more countries to assist the many millions of people around the world who live in nationless limbo, Mr. Grandi warned that much more action was needed, five years since UNHCR launched its #IBelong campaign to end statelessness.

“The progress is far from assured: damaging forms of nationalism and the manipulation of anti-refugee and migrant sentiment – these are powerful currents internationally that risk putting progress into reverse.”

Echoing those comments, UNCHR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett urged States present at the UN agency’s meeting to do more to help address stateless people’s despair.

Highlighting the kinds of problems that victims face, the Australian-born Hollywood actor and rights activist pointed out that they are denied access to things every day that those with a nationality take for granted, such as education, healthcare and travel, or just opening a bank account.

“Talk about a low carbon footprint, it’s total invisibility,” she said.

Recalling the plight of a young Lebanese girl who had been left stateless because her mother could not transfer her nationality to her under the country’s laws – despite being from Lebanon – while her father came from an unrecognised minority – Ms. Blanchett described the situation as “heart-breaking, inhumane and devastating”.

She added: “Even at the age of nine, her hopes of becoming what she called ‘a baby doctor’… were becoming dimmer and dimmer, because the prospect of her going to high school were very slender. And as a parent, I could also relate to her parents’ anguish and guilt, and their sense of powerlessness at being unable to change that situation.”

Insisting that the world “can end statelessness”, Ms. Blanchett pointed out that there were relatively straightforward fixes to it, such as legislative changes to remove the gender discrimination laws suffered by the young girl from Lebanon.

Sierra Leone and Madagascar had recently committed to reversing such laws, she said, while insisting that States “have the power to remove those roadblocks” for stateless people.

Turning to the refugee crisis in southern Bangladesh, where around a million mainly Rohingya refugees are sheltering, most after fleeing Myanmar amid a military crackdown and grave rights abuses, the UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador pointed that the problem had been decades in the making.

“The scale of the problem caused by the stateless of the Rohingya people is overwhelming,” she said. “I think we should learn as a species from the enormity of this problem”, and what begins on a local level can go on “decade after decade after decade and it becomes a problem beyond that county’s borders and it becomes an international crisis. So let’s not let other issues of statelessness rise to the level of the Rohingya.”

Denied ‘a sense of self’, families break down: UN deputy chief

Earlier, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told the UN refugee agency forum that addressing statelessness and forced displacement required tackling what caused them in the first place: development challenges, weak governance and the exclusion of population groups.

These issues were the target of the 2030 Agenda, she insisted, pointing to their focus on enabling marginalized populations “to contribute to, and benefit from, inclusion in sustainable social and economic development processes”.

At the same time, she insisted, refugee host countries “require tangible support, including from a development perspective, to be able to cope with large-scale influxes and protracted refugee situations”.

To date, around 200 countries have pledged to work with UNHCR on solutions to statelessness, which the UN agency aims to eradicate by 2024.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

TTIP: why it is worth not to pull the covers over your head?

This is what CEOs around the world see as the biggest risks to business

Can privatisation be the panacea for the lack of growth in Europe?

The European Commission to stop Buffering

Security: better access to data for border control and migration management

Smart city experts should be looking to emerging markets. Here’s why

168 hours left for MEPs – ECOFIN Council to deliver a Banking Union

EU seeks foreign support on 5G from Mobile World Congress 2015 as the “digital gold rush” begins

The Chinese solar panels suddenly became too cheap for Europe

Young and unemployed the perfect victims of ‘vultures’

Miguel Arias Cañete European Commission

EU should invest more in climate and not sit back on its laurels and watch

‘Two pack’ austerity package in force but with less vigor

China Unlimited – The chinese tourism in Lisbon

Tackling Youth Unemployment

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

5 trends in the global economy – and their implications for economic policymakers

Can Pakistan make its energy sector greener, cheaper and more reliable? The government thinks so

Brussels terrorist attacks: Schengen in danger once again while leaders gather Europe’s multiple broken pieces

In Rwanda, high-speed drones are delivering blood to remote communities

7 key challenges for the future of ASEAN – and how to solve them

Liaison Officer – 2020

3 ways we are making an impact on plastic pollution

80,000 youngsters at risk in DRC after forcible expulsion from Angola: UNICEF

UN warns of ‘deteriorating climate’ for human rights defenders in Guatemala

Paris, Washington, IMF against Berlin and ECB on money and interest

Trump asked Merkel to pay NATO arrears and cut down exports ignoring the EU

Coal addiction ‘must be overcome’ to ease climate change, UN chief says in Bangkok

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

Terrorist content online should be removed within one hour, says EP

European Citizens’ Initiative: A game of much publicity and one big lie

In the age of the tourism backlash, we need ‘destination stewards’

UN gears up emergency food aid for hurricane-struck region of Bahamas, as death toll rises

‘Going green’ is good business says private sector at UN’s COP24 climate conference

Syria: A bloody tracer of Trump – Putin rapprochement

Quicker freezing and confiscation of criminal assets in the EU

Germany fears that Americans and Russians want to partition Europe again

7 ways to break the fast fashion habit – and save the planet

Eurozone: The crisis hit countries are again subsidizing the German and French banks

What the Amazon rain forest tells us about globalization

5 things to know about the Western Balkans

Mental health at stake: A silent epidemic of 21st century

Trump ostracized by his party and world elites but still remains in course; how can he do it?

Parliament commemorates the victims of the Holocaust

Adriatic Sea: MEPs adopt multiannual plan for fisheries

G7 summit: Trump Vs. G6 leaders on trade and climate change

UN experts urge United Arab Emirates to release terminally ill woman to live her last days ‘in dignity’

Thousands flee fresh violence in South Sudan, many ‘suffering from trauma’

How UN cultural treasures helped set the stage for Game of Thrones

GSMA Announces Speakers for Mobile 360 – Russia & CIS 2018

This city is planting a tree for every man, woman and child

President Juncker temporarily transfers portfolio responsibilities following departure of two Members of the European Commission

The power of trust and values in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

‘Massive and protracted’ humanitarian crisis in DR Congo can be ‘beaten back’ if donors step up

Why cooperative and competitive federalism is the secret to India’s success

Can free trade deliver cheaper renewable energy? Ask Mexico

A for-profit project has improved nutrition in Rwanda – is it a model that can eliminate hunger across Africa?

G20: Less growth, more austerity for developing countries

Digital development: technology-enabled, but human-centric

3 charts that show the economics of European football

DR Congo: Strengthened effort against Ebola is paying off, but insecurity still major constraint – UN health agency

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s