Who are the stateless persons and refugees of Central Asia?
Statelessness affects millions of people around the world, denying them access to basic rights and social services. Some 110,700 stateless persons are known to UNHCR in Central Asia. The actual number is expected to be higher. In 2021, UNHCR expects the resolution of a record number of statelessness cases in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Since the launch of the #Ibelong campaign to eradicate statelessness by 2024, the United Nations Refugee Agency has helped Kazakhstan in identifying nearly 7,000 stateless persons. Central Asia is also a home to a considerable Afghan refugee population. In light of the rapidly deteriorating security situation in 2021, the number of people fleeing Afghanistan will likely continue to rise. UNHCR representative for Central Asia, Hans Schodder, sat down with Lyazzat Shatayeva for the episode of IMPACTFUL to discuss who the stateless, asylum seekers and refugees of Central Asia are and what kind of assistance is provided to them to secure their civil rights.