Who is a stateless person?

A stateless person is someone who does not have a nationality. No country recognizes stateless people as their citizens. Some are born stateless, but others become stateless. Stateless people are found in all regions of the world and the majority of them were born in the countries in which they have lived their entire lives. Without a nationality, they are often denied their basic rights. Statelessness can mean a life without education, without medical care, or legal employment. UNHCR is the UN agency mandated to work on statelessness including the identification and protection of stateless persons and the prevention and reduction of statelessness.

I am stateless, can UNHCR assist me?

UNHCR advocates for the protection of stateless people worldwide and for solutions to their plight. Only States can provide nationality to stateless persons, and UNHCR has established partnerships with other organizations to advise stateless people on citizenship matters, including relevant legal advice and representation. UNHCR works with NGOs, human rights groups and other UN partners to advocate for access to education, health care, employment and other basic rights for stateless persons. We also work with partners to protect stateless people from detention, trafficking and violence. Please visit this page for more information.


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