Personal story: it took me more than 20 years to restore my stolen passport
Svetlana Cherepkina’s mother:
The document was put on the shelf
“We have been repeatedly requesting the certificate from Russia every six months to no avail, - says Irina Tohtakhunova. In order to send a new request we had to provide 10 other certificates from various institutions and we collected them twice a year. It was not free of charge either”.
In 2012 the certificate from Russia has finally arrived and Svetlana got closer to getting her passport. However, on account of red tape Svetlana’s problem was not resolved then.
During these years Svetlana has got a family of her own. She now has four children: son Vladislav and three daughters Alexandra, Diana and Miroslava. But, because Svetlana did not have a passport neither of her children received birth certificate.
There were other problems caused by the absence of identification documents. For instance, Svetlana could not get employed and she had to rely on her mother for financial support. Neither Svetlana nor her kids could get treated at the hospital. One of the girls had very serious sight impairment but Svetlana could never get a status of disability for her. The children could not be accepted by a kindergarten or a school. Eventually she succeeded in sending her younger daughters to school, but the elderly Vladislav did not receive any formal education.
Deputy minister took the matter in hand
Svetlana and her children were amongst more than 13000 persons in Kyrgyzstan who due to a variety of reasons found themselves in a status of statelessness but who managed to overcome this problem thanks to the joint efforts of the state and non-governmental organizations with the support of the UN Refugee Agency (The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees — UNHCR) under a global campaign #IBelong. In 2019 Kyrgyzstan became the first country in the world who eliminated all the known cases of statelessness.
#IBelong global campaign launched by UNHCR in 2014 aims at eradication of statelessness in the world by 2024. Under the #IBelong campaign the UNHCR works in collaboration with the governments, other UN agencies and civil society to make sure that every person could have a citizenship and could enjoy all the pertinent rights.