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. The norms and good practices against which we benchmark performance, as well as their respective sources, are compiled in this List of norms and good practices. A summary of the benchmarks can also be viewed by clicking on each 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. 32 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. We aim to update the information on each country every two years, following a staggered approach. Significant developments that occur in the meantime are noted in news updates. To the best of our knowledge, the information is accurate as of January 2024 for Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, France, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom, and as of February 2023 for Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, and Spain.

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 at least 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 have to work within a relatively limited timeframe and budget, and in some cases, little data or information on statelessness is available at national level. In all countries, a second country expert reviews and verifies 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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