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20 Jun 2018

UNHCR envoy: Belarus might join UN conventions on statelessness

UNHCR envoy: Belarus might join UN conventions on statelessness

MINSK, 20 June (BelTA) – Belarus has good chances to join the United Nations conventions on statelessness, Jean-Yves Bouchardy, Representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Republic of Belarus, told reporters on 20 June, BelTA has learned.

Stateless persons constitute the majority of people that are taken care of by the UNHCR in Belarus. There are about 6,000 of them. “The study of the situation with stateless persons carried out with the support of the Belarusian Interior Ministry in late 2017 – early 2018 suggests that Belarus has good chances to join the UN conventions on statelessness and the UN worldwide campaign aimed at eliminating this problem by 2024. In order to give more exposure to this matter, we want to hold a large-scale international conference at the end of this year,” Jean-Yves Bouchardy said.

All stateless persons living in Belarus have a legal status. “Apart from that, their rights to enter or leave Belarus are respected. They can apply for a travel pass enabling them to cross the Belarusian border. There are no problems regarding this matter. However, following global trends, we and our partners are working on the ascension to the conventions,” Deputy Head of the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Belarusian Interior Ministry Alexander Tatura said.

The Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons was adopted on 28 September 1954 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries.

The UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness was passed on 30 August 1961 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries that took place in 1959 and was convened again in 1961. The Convention came into force on 13 December 1975.

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