The Liberia Refugee Reparation Resettlement Commission9LRRRC) and other relevant line ministries and agencies of government have begun the validation of Liberia National Action Plan on Statelessness.
Speaking at the opening of a two- day event on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 in Monrovia, the Executive Director of LRRRC, Festus Logan, said the National Action Plan reflects the political will of government to end Statelessness in Liberia.
Rev. Logan stressed that the Plan is a product of consultations with all actors including government, civil society organizations and partners and its validation will show Liberia willingness to end Statelessness.
Rev. Logan added that the plan if validated will form part of global campaign to eradicate Statelessness launched in November 2014.
The LRRRC Executive Director further stated that following the validation, the National Action Plan will be presented to the Board Chair of LRRRC, Internal Affairs Minister, Varney Sirleaf, for endorsement by the Cabinet.
The document is being validated under the theme, “Liberia says No to Statelessness, nationality is a right not a privileged” with support from UNHCR.
It could be recalled that Liberia acceded to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless persons in September 1964 and to the 1961 Convention in September 2004.
The Liberia Refugee Law is being amended to cover the issue of statelessness. Following a statelessness workshop held in Monrovia on 2-3 February 2015, a Liberia country team, comprising government, UNHCR, Civil Society, UN Agencies and regional bodies was set up to develop an action plan and identify the risks of statelessness in Liberia, sensitize the citizenry and other stakeholders, as well as to improve on the existing legal and administrative frameworks on nationality.
The country team, with the technical and financial support of the UNHCR Office in Liberia, embarked on activities aimed at identifying and addressing the causes of statelessness and putting a mechanism in place to prevent statelessness in Liberia. This Action Plan contains ideas generated during the workshop held for the country team and the field research findings documented in the country report gathered from parts of the country where people are most at risk of statelessness.
The National Action Plan (NAP) is intended to be part of the global campaign to eradicate statelessness launched by UNHCR in November 2014. in effect, the Action Plan reflects the political will of the Government of the Liberia to end statelessness.
The plan contains a series of activities that aim at fighting the phenomenon of statelessness and it is a product of consultations involving all the actors in the country team, comprising Government and Civil Society Organizations, and shall be subject to regular updates by the country team. The report of activities carried out in furtherance of the plan will also be presented to the Minister of Internal Affairs for endorsement by the cabinet.
Liberia signed the Abidjan Declaration of ECOWAS Member States on the Eradication of Statelessness (hereafter Abidjan Declaration) that was adopted at ministerial level in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on 25 February 2015 and approved by the President of Liberia during the ECOWAS Heads of States Summit in Accra, Ghana, on 19 May 2015.
Among other things, the commitment and recommendations made during the Abidjan Conference, the Banjul Action plan as well as pledges made by the Government of Liberia at the High-Level Segment on statelessness held in Geneva in 2019 will guide the implementation of the National Action Plan and further activities to put an end to statelessness in Liberia.