American University of Beirut

Research and Advocacy Network on Statelessness in the MENA (RANS MENA)


Funded by the Open Society Foundations, this project aims to develop and expand the regional network on statelessness in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by conducting relevant legal and factual research on statelessness; creating legal and strategy-oriented materials; compiling these materials on a dedicated, accessible online platform for advocates and policymakers, as well as developing a region-wide statelessness network of a wide range of stakeholders through workshops and conferences.​

The Research and Advocacy Network on Statelessness in the MENA (RANS MENA) was established as a coordinating body and expert resource for organizations and individuals working on aspects of citizenship and nationality, with the aim of promoting the right to nationality across the MENA region. The Network comprises organizations in and of the 22 MENA countries that are members of the League of Arab States. Representatives from Hawiati, Arab Institute for Human Rights, the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development, Center for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University of Cairo, Norwegian Refugee Council, Erbil Polytechnic University, and the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at the American University of Beirut form the Management board of the network. IFI plays the role of the secretariat of RANS MENA.


To contribute to filling the academic gap in studies on nationality, citizenship and statelessness in the MENA region, and ensuring all stateless persons in the region have access to justice, protection, and to their fundamental rights.


To promote and facilitate research and contribute to policy making aimed at combating statelessness in the MENA region.


  • ​Raising awareness about statelessness, its causes and consequences across the region.
  • Conducting and disseminating research on citizenship, nationality, stateless populations and those at risk of statelessness.
  • Developing recommendations for states and non-state actors on laws and policies that can reduce or mitigate statelessness and its consequences.
  • Promoting civil society strategies that are informed by careful and timely research to advocate for changes in laws, policies and social conditions that will help combat statelessness.
  • Engaging with governments and policy makers based on well-developed research and recommendations to make the needed legal and policy changes to reduce statelessness and expand access to citizenship and nationality.
  • Holding and facilitating public and private workshops, expert forums, conferences, and meetings to share research and develop a knowledge base about citizenship, nationality, civil documentation and other issues that relate directly to causes of statelessness in the region.
  • Developing and maintaining the online platform on Statelessness in the MENA to compile, organize and share high-quality research, reports, laws, policies and other publications related to statelessness in the MENA.
  • Supporting civil society capacity to mobilize and advocate against statelessness, facilitate civil society interaction directly with stateless communities, and amplify their needs and demands for lives of dignity, equality and full citizenship.​

Project Outputs

MENA Statelessness Platform

The MENA Statelessness Platform supports the work of RANS MENA. It presents stateless people, researchers, experts, activists, NGOs, government officials and journalists with information, research reports, papers, guides, and conventions related to statelessness in the MENA since the 1954. To date, more than 280 relevant publications have been uploaded to the platform in English and Arabic.

To know more about Statelessness in the MENA region and the work of the network, visit the MENA Statelessness Platform

RANS MENA Newsletter

Read the first issue of RANS MENA Newsletter here​

RANS MENA Research Reports 

Millions of individuals in the MENA region are still without a nationality, facing the denial of human rights, enduring persecution and discrimination. Recognizing the lack of academic research on statelessness and nationality rights in the region, IFI in collaboration with the International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) at Boston University have taken the lead in conducting legal and factual research on statelessness, nationality rights, and citizenship in the MENA region since 2018. These comprehensive reports present the research conducted in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq.

The objective of each report is to analyze key issues, laws, and policies that impact stateless individuals and those vulnerable to statelessness. They delve into the legal frameworks governing statelessness in the country, encompassing domestic, international, and regional laws. Furthermore, they identify gaps in existing legislation and policies, while also discussing the underlying factors and consequences of statelessness. While acknowledging the efforts made by relevant stakeholders to address statelessness, the reports offer recommendations aimed at reducing barriers to legal status, which would significantly mitigate statelessness in each of the four countries. 

Access the research reports here:​

The Campaign to End Statelessness and Perfect Citizenship in Lebanon​, Jordan, Iraq ​& Egypt. 

حملة إنهاء انعدام الجنسية واتقان الجنسية في لبنان​, الاردن,​ العراقمصر. ​

Project Contact Persons 

Program Manager: Yara Mourad,  IFI Assistant Director,

Project Coordinator: Nadia Nameh,​​​​

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