World churches' body works for rights of stateless people

By agency reporter
February 19, 2013

The World Council of Churches (WCC) will hold an international consultation in Washington DC on the rights of stateless people.

It will address the concerns of nearly 12 million people around the world who are not considered a national by any state.

Organised by the Commission of the Churches in International Affairs (CCIA), the consultation will be hosted by the American Baptist Churches USA, from 27 February to 1 March 2013.

The consultation, entitled 'Towards an Ecumenical Advocacy on Rights of Stateless People', is part of the ecumenical advocacy initiatives on ratification of international instruments protecting the rights of stateless people.

The event will take place at the Calvary Baptist Church, Washington DC.

At the consultation, around fifty international participants will discuss a wide range of issues related to stateless people. They will analyse the causes of statelessness, as well as ways of addressing these concerns. In the sessions, case studies and testimonies by stateless people themselves will be shared.

“The consultation is also a prelude to the preparatory process for a public issue statement on the rights of stateless people, which will be discussed at the forthcoming WCC Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea,” said Dr Mathews George Chunakara, director of the CCIA.

“The CCIA has been focusing on this issue since its 50th meeting in Albania, in 2010. A working group of the CCIA has been addressing the concerns of stateless people during the past two years,” he added.

The CCIA organised a consultation on stateless people in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in December 2011. Following that meeting, a study on the situation of statelessness was presented at the 51st meeting of the CCIA in People’s Republic of China in June 2012.

The consultation in Washington DC is a follow-up to the commission’s focus on the issue of statelessness around the world, including the United States. The discussions at the meeting aim to develop ecumenical advocacy on rights and dignity of stateless people.


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