GENEVA – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, commends the steps the Government of Kenya is taking to resolve the long-term problem of statelessness for the Pemba people in Kenya.
During celebrations to mark the country’s 59th Jamhuri Day on 12 December, Kenya’s President Ruto announced that the Government will initiate modalities to recognize the Pemba people as citizens of Kenya.
“Once again, Kenya has demonstrated leadership in the aim to end statelessness around the world. This decision will ensure that the Pemba people will get access to the rights they deserve. UNHCR stands ready to support the process,” said Caroline van Buren, UNHCR’s Representative to Kenya.
The registration and issuance of individual citizenship documentation will enable the Pemba to fully contribute to Kenyan society and access their fundamental human rights on a par with other nationals. This includes access to education, health care, social protection, financial services and the formal labour market.
UNHCR, together with partners, will continue providing technical and operational support to the Government to ensure stateless populations are registered as Kenyans and are able to swiftly obtain documents, including birth certificates, registration certificates, and national IDs.