BETA


2016/2220(INI) Statelessness in South and South East Asia

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead AFET BASHIR Amjad (icon: ECR ECR) PREDA Cristian Dan (icon: PPE PPE), POST Soraya (icon: S&D S&D), AUŠTREVIČIUS Petras (icon: ALDE ALDE), CORRAO Ignazio (icon: EFDD EFDD)
Committee Opinion DEVE HEUBUCH Maria (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE) Nirj DEVA (icon: ECR ECR), Lola SÁNCHEZ CALDENTEY (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), Adam SZEJNFELD (icon: PPE PPE)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 54

Events

2017/06/13
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2017/06/13
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 571 votes to 24, with 34 abstentions, a resolution on statelessness in South and South East Asia.

Parliament recalled that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) enshrines the right to a nationality and the right not to be arbitrarily deprived of one’s nationality is enshrined in Article 15 of UDHR, as well as in other international human rights instruments.

The right to nationality has been enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for close to seventy years, yet for millions of people this is still seemingly unattainable.

The international definition of a stateless person is “a person who is not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law”. The UNHCR has estimated that 135 million children under the age of five across the region have not had their births registered and are at risk of becoming stateless. Legislative gender discrimination, for example in acquiring or passing on nationality to one’s child or spouse, is still present in South and Southeast Asia in countries such as Nepal, Malaysia and Brunei. However, the causes of statelessness can vary.

Causes of statelessness : Parliament stated that statelessness continues to receive limited international attention despite its very worrying global and regional human rights implications, and continues to be seen as an internal affair of states.

Reducing and eventually abolishing statelessness should become a human rights priority at international level, according to Parliament.

Overall, Parliament expressed concern about the millions of cases of statelessness all around the world, in particular in South and South East Asia, and expressed their solidarity with stateless persons.

Rohingya minority : more specifically, Parliament expressed concern at the situation of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. They are the world’s largest population of stateless peoples making up nearly 20% of global statelessness.

Parliament is appalled at the reports of massive human rights violations and the continued repression and discrimination of the Rohingya and the failure to recognise them as part of Myanmar society, in what looks like a coordinated campaign of ethnic cleansing.

It regretted that the status of statelessness is in some cases exploited in order to marginalise specific communities and deprive them of their rights. It therefore urged:

the government and authorities of Myanmar to restore Myanmarese citizenship to the Rohingya minority; the immediate opening of Rakhine State for humanitarian organisations, international observers, NGOs and journalists. In this regard, they reiterated that stateless persons should have access to humanitarian programmes .

Enhanced communication on the issue : Parliament emphasised the importance of an effective communication strategy on statelessness in order to raise awareness. The EU is called upon to improve communication on statelessness, in cooperation with the UNHCR, and through its delegations in the third countries concerned.

EU strategy : Parliament called on the EU to develop a comprehensive strategy on statelessness based on two sets of measures: (i) urgent situations; (ii) long-term measures to end statelessness. It should focus on a limited number of priorities and that the EU should take the lead in the event of urgent situations to raise awareness on statelessness at international level. The EU’s comprehensive strategy on statelessness should be adaptable to specific situations faced by stateless people. A distinction needs to be made between statelessness that has occurred as a result of a lack of administrative capacity and statelessness that has occurred as a result of a discriminatory state policy against certain communities or minorities.

New comprehensive policy approach : recommending that Member States make it a priority to support the positive developments in addressing statelessness in South and Southeast Asia, Parliament proposed a new comprehensive policy approach including, inter alia :

encouraging states to accede to the Statelessness Conventions; working with states to advocate the benefits of gathering intersectional, disaggregated and verifiable national data on stateless persons; consistently emphasising that birth registration needs to be free, easily accessible and undertaken on a non-discriminatory basis; encouraging the use of digital birth registration programmes in order to improve registration and archiving records; encouraging states in the region to address the needs of women, and issues related to sexual and gender-based violence; ensuring access to education to everyone, including stateless children, as statelessness is a significant obstacle that prevents children from being able to access equal education opportunities; establishing regular reporting on the EU’s achievements in the fight against statelessness; setting-up EU human rights guidelines on statelessness; increasing dialogue on statelessness in South and South East Asia with relevant regional and international organisations; ensuring that all development projects and humanitarian aid for which the EU provides funding are set up so that addressing statelessness is included whenever relevant; reserving adequate funding in the Development Cooperation Instrument, European Development Fund and European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights budgets for NGOs and other organisations working to reach stateless communities.

Parliament also noted the link between statelessness and forced displacement, in particular in conflict-affected regions and that at least 1.5 million stateless persons in the world are refugees or former refugees, including many young women and girls.

Unify the definition of statelessness : recalling that statelessness in the world is largely unmapped and under-reported , and that existing data are based on different definitions, Members urged the international community to adopt a unified definition and to address the gaps in data collection for measuring statelessness in developing countries.

The Commission is called upon to launch exchanges of good practice among Member States and encourage the active coordination of national statelessness contact points .

Lastly, Parliament welcomed the EU support to stateless persons in South and South East Asia through various instruments and encouraged the Union to continue its efforts in order to address the impact of statelessness on development, peace and stability as an integral part of its development cooperation programmes and, more broadly, its external action.

Documents
2017/06/13
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2017/06/12
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2017/05/04
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary
Details

The Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Amjad BASHIR (ECR, UK) on statelessness in South and South East Asia.

The report recalled that the right to nationality has been enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for close to seventy years, yet for millions of people this is still seemingly unattainable. The international definition of a stateless person is “a person who is not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law”. The UNHCR has estimated that 135 million children under the age of five across the region have not had their births registered and are at risk of becoming stateless.

The causes of statelessness include less nefarious but problematic ones like the expiration of nationality through having lived out of one’s country for an extended period of time. Nevertheless, there are more causes that are source of serious concern.

Statelessness continues to receive limited international attention despite its very worrying global and regional human rights implications, and continues to be seen as an internal affair of states. Reducing and eventually abolishing statelessness should become a human rights priority at international level, according to Members.

Overall, Members expressed concern about the millions of cases of statelessness all around the world, in particular in South and South East Asia, and expressed their solidarity with stateless persons.

Rohingya minority : in particular, they are concerned about the situation of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. They are the world’s largest population of stateless peoples making up nearly 20% of global statelessness. Members are appalled at the reports of massive human rights violations and the continued repression and discrimination of the Rohingya and the failure to recognise them as part of Myanmar society, in what looks like a coordinated campaign of ethnic cleansing.

They urged:

the government and authorities of Myanmar to restore Myanmarese citizenship to the Rohingya minority; the immediate opening of Rakhine State for humanitarian organisations, international observers, NGOs and journalists. In this regard, they reiterated that stateless persons should have access to humanitarian programmes .

Enhanced communication on the issue : Members emphasised the importance of an effective communication strategy on statelessness in order to raise awareness. The EU is called upon to improve communication on statelessness, in cooperation with the UNHCR, and through its delegations in the third countries concerned.

EU strategy : Members called on the EU to develop a comprehensive strategy on statelessness based on two sets of measures: (i) urgent situations; (ii) long-term measures to end statelessness. It should focus on a limited number of priorities and that the EU should take the lead in the event of urgent situations to raise awareness on statelessness at international level. The EU’s comprehensive strategy on statelessness should be adaptable to specific situations faced by stateless people. A distinction needs to be made between statelessness that has occurred as a result of a lack of administrative capacity and statelessness that has occurred as a result of a discriminatory state policy against certain communities or minorities.

New comprehensive policy approach : recommending that Member States make it a priority to support the positive developments in addressing statelessness in South and Southeast Asia, Members proposed a new comprehensive policy approach including, inter alia :

encouraging states to accede to the Statelessness Conventions; working with states to advocate the benefits of gathering intersectional, disaggregated and verifiable national data on stateless persons; consistently emphasising that birth registration needs to be free, easily accessible and undertaken on a non-discriminatory basis; encouraging the use of digital birth registration programmes in order to improve registration and archiving records; encouraging states in the region to address the needs of women, and issues related to sexual and gender-based violence; establishing regular reporting on the EU’s achievements in the fight against statelessness; setting-up EU human rights guidelines on statelessness; increasing dialogue on statelessness in South and South East Asia with relevant regional and international organisations; reserving adequate funding in the Development Cooperation Instrument, European Development Fund and European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights budgets for NGOs and other organisations working to reach stateless communities.

Recalling that statelessness in the world is largely unmapped and under-reported , and that existing data are based on different definitions, Members urged the international community to adopt a unified definition and to address the gaps in data collection for measuring statelessness in developing countries.

The Commission is called upon to launch exchanges of good practice among Member States and encourage the active coordination of national statelessness contact points .

Lastly, Members welcomed the EU support to stateless persons in South and South East Asia through various instruments and encouraged the Union to continue its efforts in order to address the impact of statelessness on development, peace and stability as an integral part of its development cooperation programmes and, more broadly, its external action.

Documents
2017/04/11
   EP - Vote in committee
2017/01/31
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2016/12/14
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2016/11/10
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2016/11/09
   EP - HEUBUCH Maria (Verts/ALE) appointed as rapporteur in DEVE
2016/09/15
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament
2016/05/24
   EP - BASHIR Amjad (ECR) appointed as rapporteur in AFET

Documents

Votes

A8-0182/2017 - Amjad Bashir - Vote unique #

2017/06/13 Outcome: +: 571, 0: 34, -: 24
DE IT ES FR PL RO GB PT NL CZ BE HU SE BG AT SK HR DK LT EL FI IE LU EE SI LV CY MT ??
Total
86
60
48
53
44
28
56
20
19
20
19
18
18
14
16
11
10
11
9
18
8
8
6
6
6
5
5
5
1
icon: PPE PPE
185

Sweden PPE

2

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Finland PPE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE

3

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Latvia PPE

2

Cyprus PPE

1

Malta PPE

2
icon: S&D S&D
168

Netherlands S&D

2

Croatia S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

1

Finland S&D

1

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Latvia S&D

1

Cyprus S&D

For (1)

1

Malta S&D

3
icon: ALDE ALDE
58

Romania ALDE

3

United Kingdom ALDE

1

Portugal ALDE

1

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1

Croatia ALDE

For (1)

1

Denmark ALDE

For (1)

1
2
3

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

3

Slovenia ALDE

For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

1

ALDE

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
63

Italy ECR

2

Romania ECR

For (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

2

Czechia ECR

2

Bulgaria ECR

1

Slovakia ECR

2

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

1

Greece ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Finland ECR

1

Cyprus ECR

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
43

Italy Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

France Verts/ALE

4

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

4

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Belgium Verts/ALE

1

Hungary Verts/ALE

1

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Croatia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Estonia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
40

Italy GUE/NGL

2

France GUE/NGL

2

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1

Portugal GUE/NGL

3

Netherlands GUE/NGL

3

Czechia GUE/NGL

2

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

3

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2
icon: EFDD EFDD
34

Germany EFDD

Against (1)

1

France EFDD

1

Poland EFDD

1

Czechia EFDD

Against (1)

1

Sweden EFDD

2

Lithuania EFDD

For (1)

1
icon: NI NI
15

Germany NI

Against (1)

2

France NI

Abstain (1)

2

United Kingdom NI

For (1)

Against (2)

3
icon: ENF ENF
22

Poland ENF

2

United Kingdom ENF

Against (1)

1

Belgium ENF

Abstain (1)

1
AmendmentsDossier
152 2016/2220(INI)
2016/12/07 DEVE 13 amendments...
source: 594.179
2016/12/15 AFET 139 amendments...
source: 595.598

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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  • date: 2017-05-04T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A8-2017-0182&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A8-0182/2017 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
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  • date: 2016-12-14T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE595.598 title: PE595.598 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2017-01-31T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE593.897&secondRef=02 title: PE593.897 committee: DEVE type: Committee opinion body: EP
events
  • date: 2016-09-15T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2017-04-11T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2017-05-04T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A8-2017-0182&language=EN title: A8-0182/2017 summary: The Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Amjad BASHIR (ECR, UK) on statelessness in South and South East Asia. The report recalled that the right to nationality has been enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for close to seventy years, yet for millions of people this is still seemingly unattainable. The international definition of a stateless person is “a person who is not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law”. The UNHCR has estimated that 135 million children under the age of five across the region have not had their births registered and are at risk of becoming stateless. The causes of statelessness include less nefarious but problematic ones like the expiration of nationality through having lived out of one’s country for an extended period of time. Nevertheless, there are more causes that are source of serious concern. Statelessness continues to receive limited international attention despite its very worrying global and regional human rights implications, and continues to be seen as an internal affair of states. Reducing and eventually abolishing statelessness should become a human rights priority at international level, according to Members. Overall, Members expressed concern about the millions of cases of statelessness all around the world, in particular in South and South East Asia, and expressed their solidarity with stateless persons. Rohingya minority : in particular, they are concerned about the situation of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. They are the world’s largest population of stateless peoples making up nearly 20% of global statelessness. Members are appalled at the reports of massive human rights violations and the continued repression and discrimination of the Rohingya and the failure to recognise them as part of Myanmar society, in what looks like a coordinated campaign of ethnic cleansing. They urged: the government and authorities of Myanmar to restore Myanmarese citizenship to the Rohingya minority; the immediate opening of Rakhine State for humanitarian organisations, international observers, NGOs and journalists. In this regard, they reiterated that stateless persons should have access to humanitarian programmes . Enhanced communication on the issue : Members emphasised the importance of an effective communication strategy on statelessness in order to raise awareness. The EU is called upon to improve communication on statelessness, in cooperation with the UNHCR, and through its delegations in the third countries concerned. EU strategy : Members called on the EU to develop a comprehensive strategy on statelessness based on two sets of measures: (i) urgent situations; (ii) long-term measures to end statelessness. It should focus on a limited number of priorities and that the EU should take the lead in the event of urgent situations to raise awareness on statelessness at international level. The EU’s comprehensive strategy on statelessness should be adaptable to specific situations faced by stateless people. A distinction needs to be made between statelessness that has occurred as a result of a lack of administrative capacity and statelessness that has occurred as a result of a discriminatory state policy against certain communities or minorities. New comprehensive policy approach : recommending that Member States make it a priority to support the positive developments in addressing statelessness in South and Southeast Asia, Members proposed a new comprehensive policy approach including, inter alia : encouraging states to accede to the Statelessness Conventions; working with states to advocate the benefits of gathering intersectional, disaggregated and verifiable national data on stateless persons; consistently emphasising that birth registration needs to be free, easily accessible and undertaken on a non-discriminatory basis; encouraging the use of digital birth registration programmes in order to improve registration and archiving records; encouraging states in the region to address the needs of women, and issues related to sexual and gender-based violence; establishing regular reporting on the EU’s achievements in the fight against statelessness; setting-up EU human rights guidelines on statelessness; increasing dialogue on statelessness in South and South East Asia with relevant regional and international organisations; reserving adequate funding in the Development Cooperation Instrument, European Development Fund and European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights budgets for NGOs and other organisations working to reach stateless communities. Recalling that statelessness in the world is largely unmapped and under-reported , and that existing data are based on different definitions, Members urged the international community to adopt a unified definition and to address the gaps in data collection for measuring statelessness in developing countries. The Commission is called upon to launch exchanges of good practice among Member States and encourage the active coordination of national statelessness contact points . Lastly, Members welcomed the EU support to stateless persons in South and South East Asia through various instruments and encouraged the Union to continue its efforts in order to address the impact of statelessness on development, peace and stability as an integral part of its development cooperation programmes and, more broadly, its external action.
  • date: 2017-06-12T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20170612&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2017-06-13T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=29549&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2017-06-13T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2017-0247 title: T8-0247/2017 summary: The European Parliament adopted by 571 votes to 24, with 34 abstentions, a resolution on statelessness in South and South East Asia. Parliament recalled that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) enshrines the right to a nationality and the right not to be arbitrarily deprived of one’s nationality is enshrined in Article 15 of UDHR, as well as in other international human rights instruments. The right to nationality has been enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for close to seventy years, yet for millions of people this is still seemingly unattainable. The international definition of a stateless person is “a person who is not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law”. The UNHCR has estimated that 135 million children under the age of five across the region have not had their births registered and are at risk of becoming stateless. Legislative gender discrimination, for example in acquiring or passing on nationality to one’s child or spouse, is still present in South and Southeast Asia in countries such as Nepal, Malaysia and Brunei. However, the causes of statelessness can vary. Causes of statelessness : Parliament stated that statelessness continues to receive limited international attention despite its very worrying global and regional human rights implications, and continues to be seen as an internal affair of states. Reducing and eventually abolishing statelessness should become a human rights priority at international level, according to Parliament. Overall, Parliament expressed concern about the millions of cases of statelessness all around the world, in particular in South and South East Asia, and expressed their solidarity with stateless persons. Rohingya minority : more specifically, Parliament expressed concern at the situation of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. They are the world’s largest population of stateless peoples making up nearly 20% of global statelessness. Parliament is appalled at the reports of massive human rights violations and the continued repression and discrimination of the Rohingya and the failure to recognise them as part of Myanmar society, in what looks like a coordinated campaign of ethnic cleansing. It regretted that the status of statelessness is in some cases exploited in order to marginalise specific communities and deprive them of their rights. It therefore urged: the government and authorities of Myanmar to restore Myanmarese citizenship to the Rohingya minority; the immediate opening of Rakhine State for humanitarian organisations, international observers, NGOs and journalists. In this regard, they reiterated that stateless persons should have access to humanitarian programmes . Enhanced communication on the issue : Parliament emphasised the importance of an effective communication strategy on statelessness in order to raise awareness. The EU is called upon to improve communication on statelessness, in cooperation with the UNHCR, and through its delegations in the third countries concerned. EU strategy : Parliament called on the EU to develop a comprehensive strategy on statelessness based on two sets of measures: (i) urgent situations; (ii) long-term measures to end statelessness. It should focus on a limited number of priorities and that the EU should take the lead in the event of urgent situations to raise awareness on statelessness at international level. The EU’s comprehensive strategy on statelessness should be adaptable to specific situations faced by stateless people. A distinction needs to be made between statelessness that has occurred as a result of a lack of administrative capacity and statelessness that has occurred as a result of a discriminatory state policy against certain communities or minorities. New comprehensive policy approach : recommending that Member States make it a priority to support the positive developments in addressing statelessness in South and Southeast Asia, Parliament proposed a new comprehensive policy approach including, inter alia : encouraging states to accede to the Statelessness Conventions; working with states to advocate the benefits of gathering intersectional, disaggregated and verifiable national data on stateless persons; consistently emphasising that birth registration needs to be free, easily accessible and undertaken on a non-discriminatory basis; encouraging the use of digital birth registration programmes in order to improve registration and archiving records; encouraging states in the region to address the needs of women, and issues related to sexual and gender-based violence; ensuring access to education to everyone, including stateless children, as statelessness is a significant obstacle that prevents children from being able to access equal education opportunities; establishing regular reporting on the EU’s achievements in the fight against statelessness; setting-up EU human rights guidelines on statelessness; increasing dialogue on statelessness in South and South East Asia with relevant regional and international organisations; ensuring that all development projects and humanitarian aid for which the EU provides funding are set up so that addressing statelessness is included whenever relevant; reserving adequate funding in the Development Cooperation Instrument, European Development Fund and European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights budgets for NGOs and other organisations working to reach stateless communities. Parliament also noted the link between statelessness and forced displacement, in particular in conflict-affected regions and that at least 1.5 million stateless persons in the world are refugees or former refugees, including many young women and girls. Unify the definition of statelessness : recalling that statelessness in the world is largely unmapped and under-reported , and that existing data are based on different definitions, Members urged the international community to adopt a unified definition and to address the gaps in data collection for measuring statelessness in developing countries. The Commission is called upon to launch exchanges of good practice among Member States and encourage the active coordination of national statelessness contact points . Lastly, Parliament welcomed the EU support to stateless persons in South and South East Asia through various instruments and encouraged the Union to continue its efforts in order to address the impact of statelessness on development, peace and stability as an integral part of its development cooperation programmes and, more broadly, its external action.
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    • The Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Amjad BASHIR (ECR, UK) on statelessness in South and South East Asia.

      The report recalled that the right to nationality has been enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for close to seventy years, yet for millions of people this is still seemingly unattainable. The international definition of a stateless person is “a person who is not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law”. The UNHCR has estimated that 135 million children under the age of five across the region have not had their births registered and are at risk of becoming stateless.

      The causes of statelessness include less nefarious but problematic ones like the expiration of nationality through having lived out of one’s country for an extended period of time. Nevertheless, there are more causes that are source of serious concern.

      Statelessness continues to receive limited international attention despite its very worrying global and regional human rights implications, and continues to be seen as an internal affair of states. Reducing and eventually abolishing statelessness should become a human rights priority at international level, according to Members.

      Overall, Members expressed concern about the millions of cases of statelessness all around the world, in particular in South and South East Asia, and expressed their solidarity with stateless persons.

      Rohingya minority: in particular, they are concerned about the situation of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. They are the world’s largest population of stateless peoples making up nearly 20% of global statelessness. Members are appalled at the reports of massive human rights violations and the continued repression and discrimination of the Rohingya and the failure to recognise them as part of Myanmar society, in what looks like a coordinated campaign of ethnic cleansing.

      They urged:

      • the government and authorities of Myanmar to restore Myanmarese citizenship to the Rohingya minority;
      • the immediate opening of Rakhine State for humanitarian organisations, international observers, NGOs and journalists. In this regard, they reiterated that stateless persons should have access to humanitarian programmes.

      Enhanced communication on the issue: Members emphasised the importance of an effective communication strategy on statelessness in order to raise awareness. The EU is called upon to improve communication on statelessness, in cooperation with the UNHCR, and through its delegations in the third countries concerned.

      EU strategy: Members called on the EU to develop a comprehensive strategy on statelessness based on two sets of measures: (i) urgent situations; (ii) long-term measures to end statelessness. It should focus on a limited number of priorities and that the EU should take the lead in the event of urgent situations to raise awareness on statelessness at international level. The EU’s comprehensive strategy on statelessness should be adaptable to specific situations faced by stateless people. A distinction needs to be made between statelessness that has occurred as a result of a lack of administrative capacity and statelessness that has occurred as a result of a discriminatory state policy against certain communities or minorities.

      New comprehensive policy approach: recommending that Member States make it a priority to support the positive developments in addressing statelessness in South and Southeast Asia, Members proposed a new comprehensive policy approach including, inter alia:

      • encouraging states to accede to the Statelessness Conventions;
      • working with states to advocate the benefits of gathering intersectional, disaggregated and verifiable national data on stateless persons;
      • consistently emphasising that birth registration needs to be free, easily accessible and undertaken on a non-discriminatory basis;
      • encouraging the use of digital birth registration programmes in order to improve registration and archiving records;
      • encouraging states in the region to address the needs of women, and issues related to sexual and gender-based violence;
      • establishing regular reporting on the EU’s achievements in the fight against statelessness;
      • setting-up EU human rights guidelines on statelessness;
      • increasing dialogue on statelessness in South and South East Asia with relevant regional and international organisations;
      • reserving adequate funding in the Development Cooperation Instrument, European Development Fund and European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights budgets for NGOs and other organisations working to reach stateless communities.

      Recalling that statelessness in the world is largely unmapped and under-reported, and that existing data are based on different definitions, Members urged the international community to adopt a unified definition and to address the gaps in data collection for measuring statelessness in developing countries.

      The Commission is called upon to launch exchanges of good practice among Member States and encourage the active coordination of national statelessness contact points.

      Lastly, Members welcomed the EU support to stateless persons in South and South East Asia through various instruments and encouraged the Union to continue its efforts in order to address the impact of statelessness on development, peace and stability as an integral part of its development cooperation programmes and, more broadly, its external action.

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