“What would life be like if you had no nationality?”. UNHCR, DIP 1998.
Historically, there has been a recognized link between refugees and stateless persons with both groups receiving protection and assistance from international refugee organizations.
In the wake of World War Two when the needs of refugees were paramount the 1951 Refugee Convention was promulgated. A Statelessness Protocol, attached to the draft refugee convention, was postponed for consideration at a later date.
This Protocol was made a Convention in its own right in 1954 and UNHCR has been requested by its Executive Committee and the U.N. General Assembly to promote accession to and implementation of the 1954 Convention in all States.
Additionally UNHCR has been asked by the General Assembly, under Article 11 of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, to help individuals and States to resolve cases of statelessness.