What does the Statelessness Index assess?

The Index assesses how countries in Europe perform against international norms and good practice for the protection of stateless people and the prevention and reduction of statelessness. A country’s performance is assessed against a set of benchmarks drawn from international and regional human rights standards, soft law, relevant reports, and consultation with experts. A summary of the benchmarks used to assess performance under each subtheme can be viewed by clicking on the subtheme heading, or in more detail in the country surveys available for download from each country page.

ENS intends to gradually increase the geographic coverage of the Index. 24 countries have been selected for inclusion in the Index so far, based on factors such as the availability of country experts, a desire to reflect a mix of countries with dedicated statelessness determination procedures, mechanisms to prevent and reduce statelessness, countries without, and countries in different sub-regions of Europe, with different legal systems and socio-economic contexts. The information in the Index is updated annually and is accurate as of January 2020, to the best of our knowledge.

How is the country data gathered?

The country data is gathered through a detailed survey, structured around the themes and subthemes. The surveys are completed by country experts (researchers, lawyers, NGOs and other civil society actors), referenced with links to sources, reviewed by a second country expert, and then returned to the ENS Secretariat for analysis. For transparency, the raw data (country survey) is available to download from each country page. This is not intended for dissemination as a standalone document and should always be read in conjunction with the country profile.

For each question answered, country experts are asked to provide a reliable source ranging from national legislation, government policy and guidance, official statistics, reports from human rights bodies, NGO reports and studies, media reports, and internal casework or monitoring information from NGO practice. The data is then checked for accuracy with second country experts, who include civil society actors, as well as UNHCR country offices and government officials in some cases. 

How is the country data analysed?

The country data is collated and analysed centrally by two members of the ENS Secretariat, who individually assess and benchmark each country’s performance under each question in the survey against the norms and good practice identified. They then discuss and agree a final assessment for each subtheme and an explanation for this, which is shared and agreed with the country expert before publication in the Index.

There are of course limitations to the Index. It is intended to provide an indicative assessment to help monitor and compare state law, policy and practice on statelessness. The assessment categories are intentionally broad, recognising that it is not an exact science. Country experts were selected for their expertise and ability to research and provide accurate data. However, they had to work within a relatively limited timeframe and budget, and in some cases, little data or information on statelessness was available at national level. In all countries, a second country expert reviewed and verified the data, to increase validity. Alongside the final country analysis and assessment, the raw data is available to download for transparency and to provide more detailed information for those with a specific technical or research interest. Please contact us if you would like to discuss any aspect of the Index in more detail.

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