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PH vows to end statelessness

THE Philippines is committed to end statelessness by 2024, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Thursday.

The DFA said the Philippines on October 8 shared during the United Nations General Debate at the high level segment on statelessness its achievements in addressing statelessness
Manila had joined the international community in expressing its commitment to resolve statelessness.

The general debate is part of the 70th Executive Session of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“In 2017, the Philippines adopted a National Action Plan (NAP) to End Statelessness by 2024, a first in Southeast Asia and running in parallel with the #iBelong campaign,” Justice Assistant Secretary Adonis Sulit said.

A “stateless person” is someone who is not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law (1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons).

There are at least 10 million people who are denied nationality around the world, according to the UNHCR.

The NAP to end statelessness is a framework of seven action points, which the Philippines had committed to implement until 2024. The country pledged to resolve existing cases of statelessness; ensure that no child is born stateless; remove gender discrimination from nationality laws; grant protection status and facilitate the naturalization of refugees and stateless persons; ensure birth registration for the prevention of statelessness; accede to the UN statelessness conventions; and improve quantitative and qualitative data on stateless populations.

In 2012, the country established a statelessness status determination procedure on the identification, treatment and protection of stateless persons in the Philippines.

In 2014, the Philippines and Indonesia, with support from the UNHCR, carried out a joint program to map out and resolve citizenship issues of thousands of people of Indonesian descent or PIDs residing in the Philippines. As of November 2017, around 75 percent of the 8,745 PIDs have had their citizenship confirmed.

“We wish to underscore that the Philippines has identified statelessness as one of the priorities under its National Development Plan, and is also embedded in the country’s long-term vision Ambisyon Natin 2040,” Sulit said.

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