Podgorica, 11 May 2015
More than 250 students of the Faculty of Law at the University of Montenegro last week joined the #IBelong campaign for combating statelessness. Following a high level launch of the campaign on Human Rights Day 2014, UNHCR Montenegro organized the five-day signing of the Open Letter at the Faculty of Law in an attempt to promote the campaign aimed at eradicating statelessness in the next 10 years.
This latest effort by UNHCR Office in Podgorica made Montenegro one of the top European countries in terms of support to the movement, as more than 330 people have signed the Open Letter so far.
“I think it’s a great thing that such a campaign is being conducted at our faculty, since people who don’t have a nationality live on the margins of society. Despite the fact that I’m not stateless, I myself have been waiting for the Montenegrin citizenship for more than a decade, so I fully understand what problems you might come across if you don’t have the necessary documents,” a second-year law student said.
The petition is part of the global campaign “I Belong”, which aims to put an end to the plight of millions of people around the world who lack any nationality. Being stateless means that people are denied basic human rights, including the right to medical care, education and legal employment. The campaign seeks to collect 10 million signatures for the 10 million people who are considered stateless and thus urge world governments to tackle this legal limbo within the next decade.
“We are proud that so many students of the Faculty of Law joined this initiative organized by our long-term partners UNHCR Montenegro. Our institution always gives full support to quality ideas and projects, and ending statelessness is certainly one of them. On behalf of the Faculty Board, I would like to thank UNHCR on cooperation,” said Dr. Ivana Jelić, professor of international law at the Faculty of Law in Podgorica.
Through the campaign #IBelong UNHCR strives to alleviate the problem of statelessness and raise citizens' awareness of this ordeal facing millions of people all around the globe.
Did you sign the Open Letter for ending statelessness?