Law, policy and practice on statelessness in Norway is mixed. Norway is party to relevant regional and international human rights instruments, including all the core statelessness treaties; and some data and mapping of the stateless population exists. However, this is limited by the lack of a definition of a stateless person and a dedicated procedure to determine statelessness and grant stateless people protection under Norwegian law in line with its international obligations. There are other administrative procedures through which statelessness can be identified, including when applying for international protection, travel documents or acquisition of nationality, but no rights or legal status in Norway stem from being recognised as stateless.
There are some protections and relatively strong procedural safeguards against the arbitrary detention of stateless people in Norway, but detention is possible without identifying a country of removal, alternatives are not routinely applied, and cases of stateless people being returned to countries where they have no residence rights have been reported in practice. Norway also has relatively strong safeguards to prevent and reduce statelessness, which were further strengthened through a government instruction in 2016 to prevent childhood statelessness, but there are some remaining legal gaps. Birth registration law and practice is generally good, although there are barriers to some children receiving birth certificates, and although withdrawal of nationality is possible, safeguards against statelessness exist in most cases.
Marek Linha, Norwegian Organisation for Asylum Seekers (NOAS)