Ceremonial Signing of CSO Network on Statelessness
22 Dec 2022
An initial number of eighteen organizations came together and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing a Civil Society Network on Statelessness (CSNS) to facilitate cooperation and provide a framework for cooperation and collective action between and among the members on the issue of statelessness. The signing of the MOU was held at the Bayleaf Hotel Intramuros on December 19.
The CSNS aims to (1) serve as a sustainable and influential platform to address statelessness; (2) provide strategic support and complement the efforts of the Philippine Government and other stakeholders to address statelessness in line with the NAP and relevant frameworks; (3) engage with and empower stateless persons, stateless applicants, and persons of undetermined nationality or PAROS to ensure meaningful and effective participation on matters concerning them; and (4) amplify the voices of stateless persons, stateless applicants, and persons of undetermined nationality or PAROS by advocating for their inclusion in policies, plans, and programs.
Stateless persons are persons who are not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law according to the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.
Aside from the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC), among those who initially signed the MOU are the Association of Child Caring Agencies of the Philippines, ASMAE, Ateneo de Davao University, Center for Migrant Advocacy, Child and Family Services Philippines Inc., Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center, Inc., Community and Family Services International, Development Action for Women Network, Kaisahang Buhay Foundation, Inc., Pangarap Foundation, Parenting Foundation of the Philippines, Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy, Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development, Philippine Nikkei-jin Legal Support Center, Pimentel Institute for Leadership and Governance, Scalabrini Migration Center, and University of the Philippines Institute of Human Rights.
Joining the signing members as observers were the Commission on Human Rights, UNICEF Philippines, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR Philippines) while Chief State Counsel George Ortha gave his message of support from the Department of Justice and Ms. Maria Louella Gamboa closed the program on behalf of the UNHCR Philippines.
“The signing of the MOU is an opportune time for like-minded and like-hearted individuals and organizations to come together to promote and protect the rights of marginalized and vulnerable sectors of our society, particularly stateless persons,” AHRC Executive Director Ray Paolo Santiago shared in his response.
Photos courtesy of UNHCR Philippines