Identification of statelessness

Hello all. I’m looking to hear about different identification exercises that members of the global legal empowerment network have run to identify stateless populations or people at risk of statelessness (beyond desk reviews). E.g. large-scale household surveys, small-scale focus groups.

Do you have experience implementing such exercises?

Warmly Laura


Hi @lauracparker Sorry this skipped my mind but I have been planning to respond to this post. In Kenya, Namati does not do the direct implementation of the project but our partners have participated in such activities before. In 2014 one of the largest stateless community was profiled by UNHCR Kenya, Haki center and Kenya Human Rights Commission and one of our network member @Lore participated in the profiling.

This was a hybrid of the two. They did house hold surveys and also focus group discussion. This identified all the families and where they lived and their time of entry into the country. From the focus group discussion, I remember the participants highlighting divergent opinions from the community where others wanted to go back to their country of origin while the majority stating that Kenya is the only place they called home.

This profiling exercise was very instrumental as an advocacy tool in pushing the state to act and conduct its own profiling exercise in 2015 to identify the number of families as well as their exact number. The report from the survey was not released since the partners could not release their report before the government released its report. This was more like a back up plan in case the number of persons in the government report was lower than the CSO (civil society organisation) report then it could be released as a counter mechanism to push for amendment of the report. At the same time it would be to our disadvantage if the CSO’s report had less people compared to the government report.

The report never saw the light of day but was used to push the government to release its report which was not released but was implemented after CSOs and the Makonde community decided to trek from the coast of Kenya approximately 500km to Nairobi to seek audience with the president on their registration. This can be seen in this post.

I hope I captured it all. @lauragoodwin @Lore kindly share your thoughts on this.


Thanks so much for the info Mustafa, have been following with interest the successful data-driven advocacy approach in Kenya. In Cote d’Ivoire we are now looking at the census data to see what proxy factors on statelessness it can give us and whether it can help to refine population size estimates. We will release a report on that in coming months and see what it recommends in terms of any eventual surveys to be carried out. Take care and keep up the good work in Kenya!


Actually the next census the Kenyan government might have a special code for the stateless population. In the previous ones they were not captured. I look forward to reviewing your report.