Statelessness and national censuses in Central Asia

Support to census activities in Central Asia will improve the technical infrastructure of National Statistical Offices and train census enumerators on citizenship status and statelessness, and conduct public awareness campaigns of statelessness to encourage the participation of stateless people in censuses. This will be complemented with a survey on stateless persons in Tajikistan.

13 Jul, 2023

Overall objectives

The objectives of this activity are two-fold. First, to increase awareness of statelessness in Central Asia so that they can be accurately represented in statistics and, second, to reduce the incidence of statelessness through data and awareness.

Activity description

Capturing persons who are stateless or of undetermined nationality in population censuses requires more than adding questions about statelessness in the census questionnaire. The JDC-supported census activities in Central Asia comprise two main components. First, improving the capacity and technical infrastructure of National Statistical Offices (NSOs), and training census enumerators on citizenship status and statelessness. Second, conducting information campaigns to increase public awareness of potentially stateless persons and encourage their participation in censuses.

Engagement with partners

NSOs are the main government counterparts on the national population censuses. The UN Refugee Agency also collaborates with the UN Population Fund, the World Bank and other partners about statelessness in the censuses of Central Asian states.

Background and Context

In June 2021, approximately 77,000 persons were identified as stateless in Central Asia. However, only Kyrgyzstan has conducted a comprehensive countrywide mapping campaign, whereas data on statelessness in other countries in the region remains incomplete. New cases of undocumented citizens, undetermined nationality or statelessness are identified each year. Population censuses conducted in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan between 2021 and 2023 provide a unique opportunity to gather data on these people and determine the extent of statelessness in the region.

Contact

For further details on this activity, please contact:

Felix Schmieding – schmiedf@unhcr.org

Additional resources

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Statelessness: Where small changes can have profound impact

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International Recommendations on Statelessness Statistics

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