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Kyrgyzstan updates National Action Plan on Statelessness Eradication

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the State Registration Service of the Kyrgyz Republic held today the Sixth High-Level Steering Meeting on Reduction and Prevention of Statelessness in the Kyrgyz Republic. Government officials, representatives of civil society and experts reviewed progress on the implementation of the National Action Plan on Reduction and Prevention of Statelessness in the Kyrgyz Republic and agreed on the next steps to end statelessness.

The participants included parliamentarians, representatives of the Offices of the President, Prime Minister, Ombudsman; Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Justice and Labor, Migration and Youth; State Committee for National Security and Local Self-Government, as well as non-governmental organizations. Representatives of diplomatic missions and United Nations also were present as observers.

“Everyone is entitled to a nationality. Eradication of statelessness should be a priority for every State,” Mr Tayirbel Sarpashev, Chairman of State Registration Service of the Kyrgyz Republic, said.

As part of the National Action Plan, the Kyrgyz government, legal NGOs and UNHCR launched a joint effort in 2014, to address the remaining cases of statelessness in the country. Twenty-eight mobile teams have worked in remote villages, providing free legal consultations and helping to file for documentation or citizenship determination. To date, the government has registered more than 8,500 applications and has resolved already more than 5,000 cases with citizenship acquisition or determination. The fieldwork is to complete by next year, having covered Issyk Kul and Naryn provinces.

“The work on statelessness does not stop there,” said Ms Maki Shinohara, UNHCR Representative. “With lessons learned from the field outreach operation, necessary adjustments must be made in the administrative processes as well as in the legislation to ensure that future statelessness is averted and every case of statelessness is solved.”

The UN Refugee Agency facilitates also Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The accession will bring international recognition to the Kyrgyz Republic not only on its firm stance against statelessness, but also for the efforts and achievements, the government has made in practically resolving statelessness.

UNHCR has launched last year a global campaign to eradicate statelessness. Coined, #IBELONG, the campaign objective is to solve an estimated 10 million stateless persons around the world. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres have said at the UN General Assembly last month that Kyrgyz Republic is a leading success story in the global effort to end statelessness.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees leads and co-ordinates humanitarian action to protect refugees, asylum-seekers, and stateless people in Kyrgyzstan. UNHCR provides assistance to the state authorities in establishing fair and efficient asylum systems, preventing and reducing statelessness. UNHCR assists population affected by June 2010 event in the south of the country.

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