2020 Census to reflect Stateless people in Liberia

(Last Updated On: November 9, 2019)

-UNHCR working with LIGIS on this

By Augustine Octavius,augustineoctavius@gmail.com

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) says it recognizes the value to work with the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo- Information Services to include the question of statelessness in the 2020 census questionnaire.

UNCHR Officer in Charge, Lisa Quarshie, said this will place Liberia among more than 30 states that recently pledged to strengthen data on stateless populations.

Madam Quarshie spoke on the theme: “Commemoration of the mid-point of UNHCR’s Campaign to End Statelessness by 2024,” at the fifth anniversary of the World Day against Statelessness held in Clay, Bomi County recently.

The UNHCR official  noted that  the lack of comprehensive data about the number of stateless people has been a significant challenge to addressing statelessness.

The UNHCR Officer in Charge assured the audience that the UN Refugee Agency will continue to offer support towards the adoption of a national action plan to end statelessness in Liberia

She added that the fight against statelessness in Liberia would also not be possible without the continuous work of the Church Aid Incorporated

For his part, the Chairman of the board of directors of the Church Aids Incorporated, Bishop Kortu, Brown, stressed the need for peace to prevail in the country.

Bishop Kortu Brown

Bishop Brown, who is also the President of the Liberia Council of Churches, stressed the need for women in Liberia to have the rights to pass on the citizenship to children they have other nationals

According to him, the current law denying the rights to women to pass on their nationality on to their children simply means that all those children born by soldiers of the West African Peace Keeping Force and the United Nations Mission in Liberia will be stateless.

He added that it will be unfair for the men to pass on their nationality to the children and the women are denied.

In remarks, the Executive Director of the Liberia Refugee ,Repatriation and Resettlement Commission, Reverend Festus Logan, said he will ensure that all government officials  to obtain their birth certificate.

He stressed the need for all Liberians to obtain birth certificate in order to avoid the statelessness when the question of nationality comes about.

Statelessness program parade

According to him, the Liberian government is a committed to the eradication of statelessness in the country.

Reverend Logan disclosed that the LRRRC has developed a national action plan to end statelessness and it is now before the Liberian cabinet for approval.   

Earlier, hundreds of students, officials of the LRRRC and the United Nations Commission for Refugees, the Ministry of Education paraded the streets of Clay and ended with an indoor program

At the end of the program, over 1,500 children were presented birth certificates by Church Aid Incorporated through the sponsorship of the UNHCR

The program, held under the theme : “ Nationality is a Rights,: Strengthening Birth Registration and Certification,” was graced by a large crowd of people including representatives of the Liberia Refugees, Repatriation and Resettlement Commission, the Ministries of Health , educations and local leaders.

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