Civil society networks in the Asia-Pacific region
The Central Asian Network on Statelessness – from Azizbek Ashurov
The Central Asian Network on Statelessness (CANS) was launched in June 2016 with a membership of 11 NGOs and activists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. CANS was established to:
- Enable direct and robust dialogue for the exchange of information and experience in the prevention and reduction of statelessness, and the development of nationality-focused institutions in the region; monitor and review statelessness in Central Asia, and draw out recommendations, strategies and joint actions to scale down statelessness and eliminate its causes in the future.
- Contribute to the reduction of statelessness in the region’s countries, i.e. through inter-regional collaboration as well as legal aid, expertise, advice and other assistance in promoting individual cases of stateless persons in the course of their legalisation and naturalisation.
- Engage the region’s authorities, NGOs, media, business community, academia, educational facilities and other stakeholders in discussions to put statelessness high on the agenda, ensure support and consolidate efforts to address statelessness.
- Deliver awareness, education and research campaigns aiming at eradicating statelessness in the region.
- Enhance capacities of the network members and other parties in the area of statelessness.
- Develop cooperation with other networks and organisations pursuing similar objectives.
The Statelessness Network Asia Pacific – from Davina Wadley
At the Conference on Addressing Statelessness in Asia and the Pacific (‘the Conference’), which was held from 24 to 26 November 2016, representatives from over 40 civil society organisations from across Asia and the Pacific and from UNHCR met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with the aim of building and strengthening cooperation among civil society actors and participants’ collective capacities to address statelessness.
A key outcome of the Conference was the launch the Statelessness Network Asia Pacific (SNAP). The goal of SNAP is to prevent and resolve statelessness in Asia and the Pacific.
Civil society actors are in a unique position to respond to the challenge of statelessness in Asia and the Pacific through existing direct engagement with stateless populations and decision makers. However, currently, there is limited collaboration and information sharing between civil society actors on activities focused on preventing and resolving statelessness. SNAP aims to bridge this gap. Collaboration and exchange between civil society actors will enhance individual actors’ impact and create opportunities for collective action. SNAP will work on statelessness through strategic partnerships on three, key long term objectives:
Objective 1: To strengthen and support, and build solidarity and cooperation between stateless communities, civil society actors and other stakeholders working on nationality, statelessness and related issues
Objective 2: To increase knowledge, visibility and understanding on the right to nationality and the issue of statelessness amongst civil society actors and other stakeholders
Objective 3: To develop and support initiatives that promote practical solutions to statelessness at national and regional levels
SNAP’s potential future activities and initiatives, as developed by Conference participants are detailed in the Summary Report for the Conference.
SNAP’s Organising Committee has engaged a Coordinator to facilitate the development and implementation of SNAP’s Work Plan. A Governance Board and Advisory Group has also been appointed to provide support and guidance to the Coordinator.