10 million people in the world do not have citizenship. More than 75 per cent of them are representatives of minorities. This is recalled by the experts of the UN- Forum on minority issues, who submitted a report to the Human rights Council. They call for the establishment of an International day to combat statelessness.

"The fact, that the statelessness is mainly a problem of minorities, has so far been ignored, although the phenomenon continues to increase worldwide,"  - said the special Rapporteur on minority issues,  Fernand de Varennes.

Experts call on countries to protect the rights of stateless people, to issue certificates to all newborns, to grant citizenship to all children who are born in their territory and do not have citizenship of other countries. Experts also call on states to combat discrimination against minorities.

"The scale of the problem is evidenced by human tragedies and the humanitarian crisis associated with the fate of a million Rohingya people who do not have citizenship," - Fernand de Varennes said. The special Rapporteur also reminded of  4 million Bengalis and other minorities who had lost their citizenship in India.

"Stateless people have no rights. Millions of displaced persons, refugees, members of minorities, who don't have citizenship are discriminated and can't defend their rights, " - de de Varennes noted. "Poverty, despair and hopelessness await them."

The UN Refugee Agency is conducting a global campaign #IBELONG to end statelessness by 2024.



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