Archbishop Thlagale OMI calls on religious leaders to help end statelessness in Southern Africa

Multi-religious leaders, Diplomats, and Civil Society Organisations from countries in Southern Africa met at ANEW Hotel Parktonian, in Johannesburg to explore ways to “accelerate efforts towards the eradication of statelessness” in the region.

In his opening remarks, the member of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Multi-Religious Council of Leaders and Supporter of the #Ibelong campaign said the purpose of the meeting “is to mobilise religious leaders and organizations, and other stakeholders, in the global strategic objective to accelerate efforts towards the eradication of statelessness.”

“The meeting aims to integrate the voices of those with lived experience of statelessness and to explore ways to create a broader platform where they are central to the dialogue and solutions,” said Archbishop Buti Joseph Tlhagale OMI.

The first Multi-religious conference in the region organised by the Migrants, Refugees and Human Trafficking Office of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) in collaboration with the Jesuit Province of Southern Africa and other civil society organisations aimed at creating a space for Religious Leaders, Civil Society and Diplomats from SADC Countries to take stock of the past 10 years of the #IBelong Campaign and to collectively forge a way forward towards the ultimate goal of ending statelessness.

In his Thursday, June 13 opening remarks, Archbishop Tlhagale said the conference “takes place in the 10th and final year of the #IBelong Campaign, and ahead of the launch of the Global Alliance to End Statelessness (Global Alliance) in October 2024 – a new initiative, led by UNHCR, that seeks to accelerate solutions to statelessness through a collective multistakeholder approach, which centres and respects the experience of those with a lived experience of statelessness.”

According to a UNHCR 2022 report, an estimated 19 million children under the age of 5 years are without a birth certificate in Southern Africa.



Leave a Reply