Building alliances of changemakers: Working alongside stateless communities to end statelessness in Europe

Robert Bosch Stiftung, Französische Straße 32, 10117 Berlin
28 November 2023 10:30 - 14:00 CET

On 28 November, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Statefree and the European Network on Statelessness jointly organised a panel discussion on working alongside stateless communities to end statelessness in Europe.

About the event

At least half a million people in Europe are stateless. The true number of those affected is undoubtedly much higher due to a lack of reliable data. Stateless people are denied fundamental rights that many of us take for granted: to go to school, to work, to marry, to register the birth of a child, to ‘legally exist’. But statelessness is preventable.

Despite the scale of the problem, statelessness has historically been overlooked. In 2012 the European Network on Statelessness (ENS) was established as a civil society coordinating body and catalyst for change. Last year, ENS celebrated its 10th anniversary, growing from a small core to a committed membership of over 180 organisations and individual experts in 40 European countries.

The last decade has seen increased engagement on statelessness at national, regional, and international levels. The issue is more visible on EU, Council of Europe, and UN agendas, including through UNHCR’s #IBelong Campaign, as well as in the Global Compacts and Sustainable Development Goals. This has partly been achieved by mainstreaming awareness of statelessness as a cross-cutting issue in child rights, forced migration, access to justice, and anti-discrimination agendas.

At the same time, there has been growing recognition of the need for stateless people and their communities to be leading change efforts. Since 2020, ENS has supported a group of stateless changemakers and community representatives to come together to share their experiences, plan and take collective action. Dynamic, new stateless-led organisations such as Germany-based Statefree, have also emerged.

Despite these positive developments, the pace of law and policy reform remains too slow. Now is a critical moment to further our collective changemaking efforts, to deepen our understanding and to channel the resources necessary to end statelessness in Europe.

This event will brought together changemakers from Germany and across Europe to discuss the issue, its impact at national and regional levels, and how to build inclusive alliances for change with affected individuals and communities. It featured a series of short presentations followed by a facilitated discussion among participants around the themes of statelessness, its impact, and building inclusive alliances for change with affected individuals and communities. 

At the event, ENS launched its new five-year strategic plan with the ambitious aim to break the cycle of statelessness in Europe.


10:30 – Registration with coffee
11:00 – Main event and discussion
13:00 – Networking lunch
14:00 – End of event



Nina Murray

Head of Policy & Research, European Network on Statelessness (moderator)


Osama Salem

Senior Project Manager, Robert Bosch Stiftung


Chris Nash

Director and co-founder of the European Network on Statelessness


Christiana Bukalo

Co-founder of Statefree


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