APRRN’s Statelessness Working Group (SWG) was formed by members during the 4th Asia Pacific Consultations on Refugee Rights (APCRR4) in 2012, when statelessness was identified as an additional thematic area that APRRN should focus on. Statelessness, the condition of “not being considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law”, is a complex global phenomenon affecting individuals, families and entire communities. Quantifying statelessness is challenging, but UNHCR estimates that there are at least 10 million stateless people in the world, with the majority being located in the Asia Pacific region. People may be stateless for a multitude of reasons, and forced migration is both a cause and consequence of statelessness. Refugees who are also stateless face unique protection challenges, especially arbitrary and indefinite detention.
The SWG serves as a platform for civil society collaboration on statelessness by enhancing awareness and understanding of issues that affect stateless populations. This is done through strengthening the capacity of members to advocate for the rights of stateless refugees, and increasing the visibility of statelessness – locally, regionally and globally – on the protection and development agendas. The SWG works closely with key stakeholders including other civil society networks, UN agencies, governments and regional mechanisms.
Activities of the Working Group for 2016 – 2018 are currently being discussed.
Resource sharing and outreach:
Chair: Chris Lewa (The Arakan Project, Thailand/Myanmar)
Deputy Chair: Sumitha Kishna (Migration Working Group, Malaysia)