Statelessness Program

The Statelessness Program is an initiative dedicated to research, training and outreach on statelessness and related issues.

Global Forum on Statelessness

New Directions in Statelessness Research and Policy

From 15 to 17 September 2014 the first ever global forum on statelessness took place in The Hague, the Netherlands. The three-day event was co-hosted by UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the agency mandated by the General Assembly to help states to address statelessness, and the Statelessness Program of Tilburg University.

Aim of the conference was to:

  • Share good practices and challenges in policy development on statelessness
  • Explore and debate contemporary statelessness research and policy
  • Encourage new research on statelessness across and between a range of academic disciplines
  • Provide a platform for the voices of stateless persons in the development of new research and policy directions
  • Strengthen existing partnerships and build new networks among different stakeholders engaged on statelessness

Over 120 speakers and presenters and over 300 participants attended the Global Forum. They came from diverse backgrounds, including from small grass-roots organizations, regional inter-governmental bodies, the judiciary, academia, the media, parliamentary institutions, government ministries, UN agencies and international civil society organizations.

Three sub-themes formed the main focus for presentations and discussion: Stateless ChildrenStatelessness and Security, and Responses to Statelessness

You can find the final program of the Global Forum on Statelessness in pdf here.

An impression

To get an impression of what was discussed during the first Global Forum on Statelessness, please download the Programma Book that includes abstracts.

The written text of the opening speech by Volker Türk, Director of International Protection at UNHCR, can be found here.

Also worth reading is the report of the Global Forum on the Statelessness Program weblog.

You can get a visual impression by watching this short video of the Global Forum which was made by UNHCR:

Photo's made during the Global Forum can be found on the Statelessness Program Facebook page.


To stay informed about developments regarding Statelessness, we would like to refer you to the The Online Forum on Statelessness which was launched right after the Global Forum on Statelessness took place. The purpose of this Online Forum is to contribute to the development of interdisciplinary networks and partnerships on statelessness for the sharing of information, generation of ideas and research into statelessness and inclusion.

The Online Forum on Statelessness will have multiple components. The first of these is a Listserv function and periodic newsletter for which you can sign up, compiling relevant global developments in the field of statelessness. Another important component of the Online Forum on Statelessness will be an online working paper series for research and policy papers on statelessness, disenfranchisement and inclusion. This will be launched in early 2015.

To the Online Forum on Statelessness