WEST AFRICA NOW HUB WITH OVER A MILLION PEOPLE WITHOUT NATIONALITY
West African now hub with over a million people without nationality the ECOWAS Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, Dr Fatimata Dia Sow, announced yesterday. She made the remark that out of about 10 million stateless humans in the world, about 1 million of them live in West Africa who cannot point to anywhere as their legitimate home country.
Dr Dia Sow made this disclosure while delivering the keynote address at the commemoration of the 2nd anniversary of the Abidjan Declaration on Statelessness in West Africa, captioned : “Joining Hands to End Statelessness in West Africa,” jointly hosted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and ECOWAS Commission yesterday in Abuja.
Attributing the prevailing phenomenon of statelessness in the sub-region to gaps in nationality laws and policies, underscored by weakness of civil registration systems, the ECOWAS commissioner noted that though the right to a nationality is enshrined in the universal Declaration of human rights and in other international and regional instruments to which ECOWAS member States are party to, they have not given the needed attention to it over the years, as a result of which many are living stateless.