On 26-28 June hundreds of human rights, statelessness and refugee activists joined representatives from UN and other IGO officials, academics and artists from around the world for the inaugural World Conference on Statelessness which took place in The Hague, The Netherlands. The conference was organized by the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion, the only human rights NGO dedicated to working on addressing the problem of statelessness at a global level.
The conference aimed to explore the issue of statelessness, tackle the causes such as forced migration, defend the rights of those who have been deprived of their nationality, and advocate for international action to assist those affected and protect the vulnerable. HRREC was well-represented, notably by Professors Jamie Liew and John Packer and doctoral candidate Jocelyn Kane who all addressed the conference.
Prof. Packer featured prominently not just as a panelist on two of the conference sessions, but also as an expert in two pre-conference events about the Rohingya genocide including a briefing for legal advisers of diplomatic missions hosted at the Canadian Embassy; he also presented the powerful Canadian film documentary “I Am Rohingya; A Genocide in Four Acts”. A number of his comments attracted media attention and were included in the conference organizers’ selected daily media releases, notably his arguments about the importance of State responsibility for the Rohingya genocide. In particular, Prof. Packer underlined that the Genocide Convention prescribes obligations on States including to bring cases to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – a recourse that is not available to individuals. In fact, the immediately available ICJ is the easiest and speediest avenue available to bring justice for the Rohingya including possible provisional measures and eventual reparations.
The Conference launched the inaugural issue of the journal Statelessness and Citizenship Review in which Professor Liew has an article on “Homegrown Statelessness in Malaysia”.