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


We are very happy to announce that from 15 to 17 September 2014 the first ever global forum on statelessness will take place in The Hague, the Netherlands. The three-day event is 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 Programme of Tilburg University.

Why this Global Forum on Statelessness?

In 2014 we will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the first United Nations Convention to address the problem of statelessness: the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. The momentum on action to address statelessness has increased in recent years, owing to the joint efforts of governments, NGOs, academic institutions and UNHCR, which holds a mandate from the UN General Assembly to identify and protect stateless persons and to prevent and reduce statelessness globally. As such, 2014 is an opportune moment to take stock of where things stand and debate the next steps, through the convening of the First Global Forum on Statelessness.

Aim of the conference

  • 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

Target audience

  • key staff from UNHCR and other UN organisations
  • government representatives
  • Academics
  • NGOs
  • Legal practitioners
  • Stateless and formerly stateless people

There will be opportunities for these participants to present their research, reflect on existing and emerging policy initiatives, as well as to engage in debate on key issues and share their experiences of statelessness.

In addition, the Global Forum will reach a wider audience both in the Netherlands and around the world through the simultaneous hosting of a public exhibition of Greg Constantine’s award-winning photographic series on statelessness, “Nowhere People” ( in the Hague, and by publishing a book after the conference which compiles the most interesting and cutting-edge research on the topic.

Themes and topics

Information about the themes and topics that will be discussed during the event can be found under Program.

More information

If you wish to be kept updated about the conference, please send an e-mail to

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