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Statelessness Training

31 May 2019 - 14:00

Training on statelessness

Cape Town, South Africa – July 2019

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is conducting five-day training course, in partnership with the University of Cape Town Refugee Rights Unit, for government officials and practitioners from English-speaking African states. The training is scheduled for 8 to 12 July 2019. Interested participants must submit a CV and a motivation letter for consideration for selection to refugeelawclinic@uct.ac.za by Friday, 7 June 2019. Final selection will be made by the organisers. The course is to be certified by both UNHCR and UCT and requires that participants attend the full five days.

Background and course content:

At least 10 million people worldwide are stateless. Statelessness essentially arises from gaps in law and practice that deny an individual the right to a nationality at birth or later in life. Statelessness results in marginalisation, depriving affected persons of their most basic rights, access to services and legal recognition. The gravity of statelessness is such that unresolved situations have the potential to destabilise the harmony of a society and, ultimately, the stability of the country in which the stateless people live. Statelessness is a poorly understood problem, particularly because it does not form the subject of any academic or specialist teaching. Consequently, this topic rarely forms the basis of research or publication. The need for training and research in this area is becoming more and more pressing as states make commitments in the fight against statelessness. State authorities have little in the way of tools or expertise to design strategies and implement their obligations. There are very few civil society experts in the field of nationality and statelessness to whom they can turn, especially regarding legislative reform. Given the magnitude of the problem and the implications of statelessness, the course aims to share with participants theoretical and practical expertise on statelessness, based on the latest tools, case-law and development in Africa and the world.

Objectives of the course:

The course aims to develop the expertise of government and civil society on the issue of statelessness and the right to nationality; provide participants with concrete tools to identify causes of statelessness and develop and implement strategies to address statelessness and exchange of best practices amongst African practitioners.