Sweden’s accession record to relevant human rights treaties is generally good except that it has not acceded to the Council of Europe Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in relation to State succession nor the Convention on the Rights of all Migrant Workers and their Families. Some data about the stateless population is collected in the census and by government agencies, but there are overlapping categories.
Sweden lacks a definition of a stateless person as well as a statelessness determination procedure in domestic law, although there are some procedures through which statelessness can be identified and legal guidance published by the Migration Agency in 2023 provides some guidance on assessing statelessness as part of a person’s identity. None of these procedures lead to lawful residence status nor rights solely on grounds of statelessness, and there are gaps in procedural safeguards and protection. There are also gaps in the legal framework to prevent the arbitrary detention of stateless people, including a lack of consideration of statelessness in the decision to detain, and limited procedural safeguards to prevent re-detention.
On the prevention and reduction of statelessness, Swedish law incudes relatively good safeguards. However, the provisions to protect the right to a nationality of children born stateless in Sweden are not in line with the 1961 Convention and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Stateless people may face delays to qualify for naturalisation due to stringent requirements and in September 2023, the government instructed an inquiry to suggest recommendations to further restrict naturalisation conditions. There is no specific procedure in Swedish law to determine the nationality of children at birth. Deprivation of nationality on national security grounds is not currently possible in Sweden, although there is an ongoing inquiry investigating whether this possibility should be introduced for dual nationals. When deprivation of nationality is applied there are safeguards to prevent statelessness including in cases of derivative loss of nationality.