26 Jun

World Conference on Statelessness

Organized by:Institute of Statelessness and Inclusion
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"I wanted to be a doctor. But I was barred from sitting my medical exam because I was stateless. So, I decided to study law. I thought, if I cannot wear a white coat and treat sick people, I can wear a black coat and treat the sick society we live in."

Neha Gurung, Nepal  

Statelessness poses a real challenge to equality, inclusion, security, rights and development in the world today. Despite increased attention and action, the cycle of statelessness, discrimination and denial goes on, across generations.

The question is, how can we break it?

Join over 250 activists, advocates, academics and artists at the World Conference on Statelessness, for an important and timely conversation on the right to nationality, citizenship and inclusive societies for all.

Listen to over 100 speakers from over 50 countries. Share your expertise, participate in strategic and skills building workshops and network with peers from around the world.

Follow the 10 Grand Challenges Sessions on the most pressing issues we face, including forced migration, racism, child rights, the Syria conflict and Rohingya crisis.

Participate in the Cancelled Arts Programme, through which renowned artists will engage with and challenge conventional approaches and solutions to the problem of statelessness.  

You can find the provisional conference agenda here.  

Be a part of the conversation and help build a global movement to address statelessness.

The World Conference on Statelessness will provide a forum to explore and discuss statelessness related challenges, opportunities, research, policy and advocacy; shape the strategic direction of the field; find creative ways respond to emerging challenges and forge collaborations to achieve change. The event is the only global conference of its kind to focus on these issues and therefore offers a unique opportunity for the participating stateless activists, academics, NGOs, UN officials, artists, government officials and journalists to engage in conversation across geographic and disciplinary divides. The programme will feature a mixture of time-tested and innovative formats, including panel presentations, roundtables and skills-building workshops, film screenings, marketplace sessions and exhibitions.

Over 100 speakers will contribute to the programme, from more than 40 different countries. There will be a strong focus on the grand challenges faced globally, including high-level panel debates on: Strengthening a unified human rights voice on the Rohingya crisis; Precarious Citizenship: The use and mis-use of deprivation of nationality in the world today; Realising the right of every child to a nationality; and Building a global statelessness movement. There will also be sessions exploring new opportunities, such as emerging approaches to statelessness studies, showcasing the interdisciplinary work of a new generation of PhD students; the presentation of new tools for policy assessment and awareness raising; and brainstorming of lessons learned from national and international campaigning. To take full advantage of a global convening of this kind to build the capacity of grassroots and other actors, the programme will also offer networking sessions and 'skills labs' to boost knowledge of working with the media, fundraising, writing for different audiences, using communications technology such as webinars or podcasting, and more. Below is an overview of some of the confirmed speakers.



More speakers to be announced soon.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER - Radhika Coomaraswamy

Member of the UN Fact - Finding Mission on Myanmar and former Under Secretary - General of the UN, Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict

CONFERENCE CHAIR - Laetitia van den Assum

An independent diplomatic expert and a former ambassador of the Netherlands as well as a former staff member of the United Nations

Dr. Benyam Dawit Mezmur

Associate Professor of Law, University of the Western Cape, current Member, and former chairperson of the UN CRC and ACERWC

Deepti Gurung

Campaigner for women's equal citizenship rights, Nepal.

Maha Mamo

Formerly stateless activist for the right to nationality, Brazil

Joshua Castellino

Executive Director MRG & Professor of Law, Middlesex University

Chris Nash

Director of the European Network on Statelessness

Carol Batchelor

Special Advisor on Statelessness, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Catherine Harrington

Campaign Manager, Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights

Jawad Fairooz

Former Bahraini MP and Chairman of SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights

Saiful Huq Omi

Award-winning Photographer, documenting stories of the Rohingya since 2008

Fernand de Varennes

UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues

David Cotterrel

Installation artist and Research Professor of Fine Art


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COMM - Museum voor Communicatie
Zeestraat 82 2518 AD Den Haag, Netherlands