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Conscience International Sierra Leone On IBelong Campaign To End Statelessness

Conscience International Sierra Leone On IBelong Campaign To End Statelessness

Conscience International Sierra Leone has ended one day symposium on the celebration of Ibelong Campaign to end Statelessness by 2024.

The celebration which attracted Civil Society Organizations representatives, Government and the media was held at the Grassroots Gender Empowerment Movement (GGEM), Jones Street in Freetown on Tuesday 11th December 2018.

A press release noted that on the 4th of November, 2014, UNHCR launched its # Ibelong campaign to end statelessness by 2024. Statelessness is a mandate problem and relatively easy to resolve and prevent, with the necessary political will and support.

The release further stated that millions of people could acquire a nationality and prevent their children from being born stateless including Sierra Leone.

The Ibelong Campaign is supported by a Global Action Plan which set out concrete steps for states to help resolve the problem. By acquiring a nationality so that people can gain full access to their human rights and enjoy a sense of belonging in their communities. The goal is to bring an end to statelessness within 10 years by resolving existing situations and preventing the emergence of new cases of statelessness.

The Ibelong campaign will mark it mid-point in 2019 and UNHCR will hold an event in October 2019 in Geneva to showcase achievements from states institutions and to collect pledges from states to prevent and eradicate statelessness.

The release pointed out that statelessness affects millions of people around the world adding that some countries have hundreds of thousands of states persons and there is no region of the world that is untouched by statelessness means, it is difficult to determine exactly how many people are affected or at risk of being stateless.

Data on statelessness are supposed to be captured by Government and reported to UNHCR in 2017; approximately 70 countries reported 3.9 million stateless individuals, but UNHCR estimated that this is only a fraction of the total but the true number could be three times higher.

Pastor Paul Bangura maintained that statelessness is when a person or individual is not considered as a national by any state under the operation of it law, this means, he said a person doesn’t hold the nationality of any country, some are born stateless others become stateless.

However, Mr. Bangura said there have been significant achievements over the year globally since the Ibelong campaign began more than 166,000 stateless people have acquired their nationality across the globe adding that Sierra Leone have also made tremendous effort as a state to eradicate statelessness by 2024.

Conscience International, Mr. Bangura said as a Civil Society Organization that have being raising awareness, targeting civil society and the media to understand the concept courses and consequences of statelessness promoting the right to nationality) and current supported by UNHCR Senegal regional office.

He said the symposium will detail presentation on Government effort in the fight to end statelessness in Sierra Leone. The essence he said of the Ibelong campaign and role of UNHCR to end stateless by 2024 globally.

He concluded by calling on Government and Parliament to act now and support actions to eliminate statelessness in Sierra Leone by 2024.

By Abdulai Mento Kamara

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