The World Council of Churches (WCC) will hold an international consultation on the rights of stateless people. The event will take place in Washington, D.C., and address the concerns of nearly 12 million stateless people around the world, who are not considered a national by any state.

Organized by the Commission of the Churches in International Affairs (CCIA), the consultation will be hosted by the American Baptist Churches USA, from Feb. 27-March 1.

The consultation, entitled “Towards an Ecumenical Advocacy on Rights of Stateless People,” is part of the ecumenical advocacy initiatives on ratification of international instruments protecting the rights of stateless people.

The event will take place at the Calvary Baptist Church in Washington.

At the consultation, around 50 international participants will discuss a wide range of issues related to stateless people. They will analyze the causes of statelessness, as well as ways to address these concerns. In the sessions, case studies and testimonies by stateless people themselves will be shared.    

“The consultation is also a prelude to the preparatory process for a public issue statement on the rights of stateless people, which will be discussed at the forthcoming WCC Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea,” said Mathews George Chunakara, director of the CCIA.

 “The CCIA has been focusing on this issue since its 50th meeting in Albania, in 2010. A working group of the CCIA has been addressing the concerns of stateless people during the past two years,” he added.

The CCIA organized a consultation on stateless people in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in December 2011. Following that meeting, a study on the situation of statelessness was presented at the 51st meeting of the CCIA in People’s Republic of China in June 2012.

The consultation in Washington, D.C. is a follow-up to the commission’s focus on the issue of statelessness around the world, including the United States. The discussions at the meeting aim to develop ecumenical advocacy on rights and dignity of stateless people.