- In July, The Malawian Ministry of Home Affairs & Internal Security, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) and UNHCR co-hosted a national roundtable in Lilongwe, Malawi on the Prevention of Statelessness and the Protection of Stateless Persons. Participants at the roundtable agreed to work together toward the deposit of Malawi’s instruments to accession to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness; closing legal gaps in the Citizenship Act; and improvements to the civil registration and vital statistics system.
- In July, UNHCR and the Female Lawyers Organization organized two advocacy events on the acquisition of nationality for foundlings in Côte d’Ivoire. On 17 July, twelve judges working specifically on nationality and civil registration matters participated in a workshop to discuss the challenges faced by foundlings in obtaining Ivorian nationality. On 19 July, a second workshop took place with lawyers to promote a future network of legal practitioners that would support nationality requests for foundlings.
- Several important meetings were held in the Republic of Congo. On 19 July, UNHCR organised an information meeting with members of Parliament in Brazzaville on statelessness and refugee issues. Over 150 MPs took part, and a Declaration was issued by the Vice President of the National Assembly promising to look into national legislation and push for the accession to the statelessness conventions. Additionally, two events were held in August. UNHCR, in conjunction with the African diplomatic corps and the Foreign Affairs Ministry, conducted an awareness raising meeting on statelessness, where over 60 diplomats from African countries discussed the role of the diplomatic community in the fight against statelessness, as well as a civil society discussion on statelessness, which resulted in the creation of a human rights defenders’ network on the prevention of statelessness.
- In August, UNHCR, the Ministry of Security and Social Development, the Directorate of Women’s Affairs and the Women’s Centre for Human Rights organised a workshop in Khartoum, Sudan, on the enhancement of women’s rights in nationality laws. Sponsored by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Security and Social Development, the workshop issued a recommendation that the 1994 Sudanese Nationality Act be reformed to remove provisions that discriminate against women.
- On 14 August, Lawyers for Human Rights hosted the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Southern African Development Community Civil Society Network on Statelessness in Windhoek, Namibia. The meeting ended with the adoption of three resolutions calling upon governments to adopt and ratify the African Union Protocol on the Right to a Nationality and the Eradication of Statelessness, ensure universal birth registration, and adopt or strengthen legal safeguards against childhood statelessness.
- On 29 – 30 August, the University of Stellenbosch, the ROSA Luxemburg Foundation and UNHCR hosted a conference in Stellenbosch, South Africa on the role of faith-based organisations in the prevention of statelessness and the protection of stateless persons. The conference resulted in agreement on a number of activities to be jointly taken to raise more awareness of statelessness in local communities, advocate for the protection of stateless persons, and promote academic research on statelessness.
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