Monday, October 8, 2012

Ecuador, Honduras, and Portugal Join International Conventions on Stateless Persons

PortugalAt a special event on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly‚Äôs high-level debate held recently in New York, Ecuador became a party to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, Honduras to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, and Portugal became party to both conventions.   

In the photo (left), Portugese Ambassador Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral and Anne-Christine Eriksson of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are shown with Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli of the UN Office of Legal Affairs.

According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, most of the millions of stateless people around the globe have no secure residence in the countries where they reside, are denied the legal right to work and have limited access to education and health care.  UNHCR launched a campaign to end statelessness in 2011. Since then, the refugee agency has recorded 22 accessions by 15 countries to either one or both of the 1954 and 1961 Conventions.  

The 1954 Convention establishes basic rights for stateless persons, while the 1961 Convention sets out safeguards to prevent statelessness from occurring and reduce the stateless population over time.  With the latest accessions, 76 countries are state parties to the 1954 Convention, up from 65 at beginning of 2011; while the 1961 Convention now has 48 parties, up from 37 at beginning of 2011.  Click here for more information about the Conventions.

(Adapted from a UN Press Release)

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