Americas Network on Statelessness and Nationality – from Ivonne Garza
The Americas Network on Nationality and Statelessness was launched in November 2014 together with the UNHCR’s #IBelong Campaign and the Global Action Plan to End Statelessness by 2024. Since then, Red ANA—the Network’s acronym in Spanish—has united a number of organisations in the Americas and engaged in activities towards the prevention of statelessness in the region and the promotion of the #IBelong Campaign’s goals.
In 2015, the Network consolidated its membership and began its activities. Approximately 70 civil society organisations that work on nationality and human rights issues joined the Network. During a meeting held in Costa Rica, the Network established its Steering Committee and Work Plan. The year continued by hosting four thematic and country-specific webinars related to statelessness. By December 2015, Red ANA hosted its first Annual Conference at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The Conference held a panel composed of representatives of the governments of Brazil and Chile, the Inter-American Commissioner on Migrants and a representative of Red ANA.
During 2016 Red ANA held a regional workshop in Chile and national workshops in Costa Rica and Peru. It also strengthened its capacity and expanded its activities by focusing on strategic objectives. Red ANA has worked to engage the Ombudsman institutions in priority countries to collaborate in training workshops and research efforts towards the goal of mapping statelessness in the Americas. Red ANA has also positioned itself as an important statelessness actor, by collaborating closely with UNHCR and working with countries in their legislation efforts to adopt statelessness determination procedures. The network continued to offer webinars covering a wide variety of topics and concentrated on the delivery of two research projects.
As we advance in our work in the Americas, many challenges remain in the years to come: the complete mapping of statelessness, the regionalisation of the two Statelessness Conventions, and the adoption of domestic legislation to protect stateless persons, to name a few. Red ANA firmly believes in the potential the Americas has to become the first region to eradicate statelessness around the globe, and it will continue to work towards the achievement of this goal.