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Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Pushes Legislation to Help Bring An End to Statelessness, Human Trafficking, and the Plight of Refugees

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Continuing to Fight for Human Rights Around the World


Washington, DC- Today, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, hosted a press conference on her legislation that calls upon Congress to help put an end to statelessness, human trafficking, and the plight of refugees around the world. Organizations such as FAIR Fund, Refugees International, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, and others joined her for the event.


“I stand here today with many Human Rights and Refugee advocates urging Congress to help bring an end to statelessness, human trafficking and displaced people around the world,” stated Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. “The United States Government should take the lead in addressing the crisis of displaced people around the world and enacting my legislation would do just that. That is why I plan on introducing legislation in the House of Representatives that calls for an increase in global stability and security for the United States and the international community by reducing the number of individuals who are de jure or de facto stateless and at risk of being trafficked.”


Congresswoman Jackson Lee’s Legislation :


  • Makes it a policy that the President of the United States work in conjunction with the United Nations in increasing political and financial support for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ work to prevent and solve the problems of statelessness;


  • Urges the United Nations country teams in countries with significant de jure or de facto stateless populations to devote increasing attention and resources to registering and documenting of all persons resident in the territory of each country, either as citizens or as individuals in need of international protection;



  • As well as urges the UNICEF to increase its efforts to encourage the United Nations to permit full and easy access to birth registration for all children born in their territories, which have a high population of displaced people.


“As a senior Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and a member of the Human Rights Caucus I am deeply concerned with the current state of those who are without a state. I have long been an outspoken advocate for the universal nature of human rights and the plight of those peoples who the international community all to often ignores,” added Congresswoman Jackson Lee. 


“We have a moral and a legal obligation to protect those who are without a state as a signatory to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which clearly states, ‘Everyone has the right to a nationality’ and should not be arbitrarily deprived of a nationality. Numerous international treaties and conventions make up the body of international law that outline the rights and responsibilities of nations with regard to this ever important issue, however enforcement has been lethargic and the time to stand up and demand change is now. The problem of statelessness can be resolved through the advent of adequate nationality legislation. That is why it is critical to enact this legislation immediately,” concluded Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.




June 26, 2008

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