UNHCR Welcomes Tajikistan’s New Law on Tackling Statelessness

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DUSHANBE: (NIAT Khovar) UNHCR also known as the UN Refugee Agency welcomes a new law in Tajikistan that allows foreign nationals and stateless people to obtain residence permits which will also enable them after three years to apply for Tajik citizenship.

The measure is an important step towards ending statelessness in the country, notes the UNHCR statement.

The Amnesty Law was endorsed by President Emomali Rahmon on 18 December 2019 and came into effect on 7 January 2020.

Authorities estimate that the new law will benefit some 20,000 people, former citizens of the Soviet Union, who came to Tajikistan before the end of 2016. They include foreigners and stateless individuals without legal status who are now able to regularize their situation, and are being exempted from administrative penalties.

UNHCR commends the efforts of the Government of Tajikistan in fulfilling its commitment to end statelessness, acting head of UNHCR's operations in Tajikistan Roza Minasyan said.

Through the Amnesty Law, individuals with complex cases will be able to acquire legal status, thereby gaining access to rights and services, Minasyan added.

Tajikistan has been working to end statelessness since 2014 and some 40,000 people have already had their nationality confirmed through existing legal frameworks.

The new law also fulfils a pledge made by Tajikistan during UNHCR's High Level Segment on Statelessness meeting convened in October 2019.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan