The Statelessness Network Asia Pacific (SNAP) is a recently formed civil society network. Our goal is to promote collaboration and information sharing on addressing statelessness in Asia the Pacific.
A stateless person is not recognised as a citizen by any State.
UNHCR estimates that statelessness affects at least 10 million persons worldwide and that a stateless child is born every 10 minutes.
Asia and the Pacific has the highest concentration of stateless persons of any region in the world.
Populations who are stateless, or at risk of statelessness, often have limited or no access to basic human rights such as education, employment, housing, and health services.
They are at a heightened risk of exploitation, human trafficking, arrest and arbitrary detention because they have difficulty proving who they are or links to a country of origin.
Additionally, they are also often unable to pay taxes, buy and sell property, open a bank account, legally marry, or register a birth or death.
In Asia and the Pacific, the main causes of statelessness are gaps in nationality laws and barriers acquiring civil registration and documentation, including discriminatory policies and practices on the basis of gender, ethnicity and religion.
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.
Currently however, there is limited collaboration and information sharing between civil society actors on lessons learned and strategies used to address statelessness. SNAP aims to bridge this gap. Collaboration and exchange between civil society actors will enhance individual actors’ impact and create opportunities for collective action.