The protection of stateless persons has long been understood as a challenge for the international community, yet for many of the past sixty years a prioritised focus on refugees has dominated, indeed arguably eclipsed, the plight and protection needs of stateless persons. Guy Goodwin-Gill has long argued for a refocus of international attention and effort on the plight, predicament and protection needs of stateless persons. In a seminal contribution over two decades ago he observed that at that time, statelessness was perceived by many as a mere ‘technical problem,’ yet ‘statelessness is indeed a broad human rights issue, even as it retains a distinct technical dimension.’ In this contribution, we examine the challenge set by Goodwin-Gill for the international community, namely, the need for greater recognition and protection of stateless persons, in light of developments over the more than two decades that have passed since his incisive analysis. We celebrate the positive developments and identify areas of ongoing challenge. We focus on the key initiatives he identified as requiring attention, and assess progress that has been made in relation to each, while concentrating predominantly on the need for closer attention to the relevance of developments in human rights law.