The Statelessness Network Asia Pacific (SNAP) is a civil society coalition with the goal of promoting collaboration on addressing statelessness in Asia and the Pacific.
A stateless person is not recognised as a citizen by any State.
As a result, stateless people often have limited or no access to fundamental human rights such as education, employment, housing, and health services.
Stateless people are also at a heightened risk of exploitation, human trafficking, arrest and arbitrary detention because they can face difficulty proving who they are or links to a State.
Statelessness can also restrict a person’s ability to buy and sell property, open a bank account or register a birth, marriage or death.
There are at least ten million stateless people worldwide, with the largest proportion of this population in Asia and the Pacific.
The main causes of statelessness in our region are nationality laws, policies and practices that discriminate on the basis of gender, ethnicity and/or religion, as well as gaps in nationality laws, policies and practices.
RATIONALE FOR SNAP
Civil society actors are in a unique position to respond to the challenge of statelessness in Asia and the Pacific through civil society’s existing direct engagement with stateless populations and decision makers. In fact, there are many examples across the region where civil society actors, in collaboration with governmental actors and UN agencies, have successfully addressed statelessness for specific populations.
However, before SNAP's launch there was limited collaboration between civil society actors on lessons learned and strategies used to address statelessness. That was in large part because there was no dedicated forum for civil society to share knowledge and information on the lessons they had learned, or the strategies that had proven useful and effective. Therefore, SNAP was established to bridge this gap. Collaboration and exchange between civil society actors enhances individual actors’ impact and creates opportunities for collective action.