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UNHCR: Millions of stateless people may not receive Corona vaccinations

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has warned that millions of stateless people may not receive vaccinations against the Corona virus, due to their lack of citizenship or proof of identity.


In a statement today, Tuesday, UNHCR indicated that the majority of national immunization plans are not clear regarding their coverage of stateless persons, and UNHCR urged countries to make efforts to reach stateless people and address the challenges they face.


In the statement, Gilliat Treggs, UNHCR's Director of International Protection, demanded that national vaccination plans be implemented in as comprehensive a manner as possible and that barriers to access to stateless persons are addressed, especially as they are widely marginalized.


UNHCR pointed out the difficulties faced by stateless persons with regard to access to health care and social services since the beginning of the pandemic, as many of them are afraid to go for testing or treatment due to their lack of legal status, which may expose them to the risk of detention or deportation, in addition to the cost of medical care, including Including vaccines, they can be prohibitively expensive for stateless people as they are not usually covered by national and public health care plans.


She explained that there are at least 4.2 million stateless people in about 94 countries, expressing her belief that the actual number may be much higher.


She noted that the risk of statelessness is likely to be higher for minority groups, which make up the majority of the known stateless population.


It also warned that disruptions in birth registration services create new risks of statelessness, especially since many countries have suspended civil registration services as a result of the epidemic, as birth registration has been affected, which is essential in determining eligibility for citizenship.