Press release: Children, long-term refugees among population at risk of statelessness in Horn of Africa
A new report by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency has found that vulnerable children in Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia, including those of mixed parentage, with parents who have been displaced or are members of cross-border communities, and those who have been separated from their parents, are among persons most at risk of statelessness in the Horn of Africa.
The report, titled Statelessness and Citizenship in the Horn of Africa and authored by an expert on nationality and statelessness in Africa, Dr. Bronwen Manby, analyses nationality laws and their implementation in the four countries and highlights gaps that allow statelessness. In addition, it identifies the populations that may be stateless or at risk of statelessness and the reasons why this situation remains prevalent in the Horn of Africa and suggests measures that would address it at both national and regional levels.
“Seeing the challenges faced by stateless people in this region is heart-breaking. Without legal identity documentation, children are robbed of opportunities to get quality education, and so many individuals are not able to make a meaningful impact on their societies. Refugees also face increasing risks of statelessness due to prolonged exile,” said Clementine Nkweta-Salami, UNHCR’s Bureau Director for the East and Horn of Africa and Great Lakes region. “