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Statelessness: A long forgotten human rights violation – What is it and how can we resolve it?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017, 5:15 pm – 6:45 pm

Statelessness: A long forgotten human rights violation – What is it and how can we resolve it?Despite the gradual “denationalisation” of human rights in the 20th century, having a nationality is as crucial as ever for the actual enjoyment of rights in practice. While the right to a nationality is firmly anchored in international law, still over 10 million people lack this protective tie around the world. For them, statelessness often means discrimination, exclusion, destitution, detention and the even the lack of a mere legal existence. Statelessness has a dual relationship with migration of a global scale: many forced migrants flee human rights violations rooted in their statelessness, while others become stateless due to their or their parents’ previous migration. This long forgotten complex phenomenon requires innovative responses. In the past ten years, this problem has been finally dragged into the light of global attention and more have been done than ever previously to address statelessness. The interactive session will familiarise participants with the concept of statelessness, its relation to human rights and international protection, as well as the existing solutions.The lecture will be held by Gábor Gyulai, director of the Refugee Programme and international trainer at the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (, and president and founding member of the European Network on Statelessness ( Gábor was one of the first persons in the world to start research on statelessness in 2006, and since then he has extensively published and lectured on this issue, with a particular focus on Europe and Latin America, touching upon issues like the international protection of stateless persons in a migratory context, the prevention of statelessness at birth and durable solutions through access to a nationality.