The commitment to “Leave no one behind” is central to the 2030 Agenda as it highlights the need to build inclusive systems and ensure different societal groups, including refugees, internally displaced and stateless people, are reflected in development efforts and policymaking. Linked to this commitment is the urgency to make everyone count in national data collection exercises, and consequently, produce quality official statistics for sound decision-making and monitoring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). Efforts to ensure national statistical inclusion have been central in the Asia-Pacific region in recent years, which are partly reflected in the Ministerial Declaration to “Get every one in the picture” (2014). The declaration focuses on the need to build universal and responsive Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) systems, and explicitly recognizes their importance for the prevention of statelessness and promotion of durable solutions for forcibly displaced populations.
International guidance on how to better include refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in national statistical systems are available in the International Recommendations on Refugee and IDP Statistics (IRRS and IRIS), which were unanimously endorsed by the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) in 2018 and 2020, respectively. A similar set of recommendations on statelessness statistics are currently being developed and will be discussed at the UNSC in 2023. Since their endorsement, increased momentum concerning the implementation of the IRRS and IRIS at national level has been observed in several countries. These examples provide good practices on the use of administrative data, sample surveys, and censuses to improve the availability and quality of official statistics on refugees, IDPs, and stateless persons, and can support advancing discussions on how to ensure these groups are accounted in national data systems in the Asia-Pacific region.
In response to the unique window of opportunity presented through renewed and continued commitments, this session aims to spotlight work conducted by different national statistical offices (NSOs) and other technical experts in the EGRISS membership, to implement the IRRS and the IRIS and, therefore, ensure that everyone is represented in national data collection efforts. This session will be moderated by the Deputy Director of UNHCR’ Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific. It will be divided into two parts.
Key questions to be discussed in the side event:
- How can we improve our approach to the collection of official statistics on forced displacement and statelessness in line with existing international recommendations and standards?
- What are the critical gaps/challenges that hinder the inclusion of refugees, IDPs and stateless groups in national data collection exercises?
- How can we build on countries’ experiences to collaboratively improve the inclusion of refugees, IDPs and stateless groups in national statistical systems?
- What data sources/statistical outputs would be the most beneficial to help achieve national priorities concerning forcibly displaced and stateless persons? How can these data sources be strengthened?