Statelessness is a global phenomenon that currently affects as many as 12 million people worldwide. New cases continue to arise every day as states struggle with the challenge of ensuring that everyone enjoys a nationality. For those who find themselves stateless, the lack of a nationality commonly obstructs access to a wide range of other rights, to detrimental effect. Moreover, the harsh impact that statelessness has on the lives of individuals and the fabric of communities may contribute to social tension, forced displacement and even conflict.
The past few years have seen a growing acknowledgement of the true magnitude and impact of statelessness. However, much work remains to be done in terms of developing a full understanding of the phenomenon and building the required capacity to address it. It is against this background that in the spring of 2011, Tilburg Law School launched its statelessness programme.
The goal of the Statelessness Programme is to fulfil the need for a sustainable centre of expertise, which is dedicated to research, training and outreach in this fascinating field. With this complementary three-pillar approach, the Statelessness
Programme aims to:
- engage in and provide support for research on statelessness;
- promote academic education and professional training on statelessness;
- engage in public debate and inform policy development by international, governmental, advocacy and service organisations.