On 17 October Latvia's parliament passed legislation to grant automatic citizenship to children of 'non-citizens' as of 1 January 2020, unless the parents opt for another nationality. In cases where the child is born outside Latvia or one of the parents is a citizen of another country, the parents will have to submit an application and documents certifying that the child is not and has not been a citizen of any other country in order to be recognized as a Latvian citizen.
Prevention and reduction
Selon le Fonds des Nations Unies pour l’enfance (UNICEF) environ 29 000 enfants de combattants étrangers sont bloqués en Syrie, et la plupart ont moins de 12 ans. Parmi eux, 20 000 viennent d’Irak et 9 000 viennent de 50 pays différents dont la France. Par ailleurs, 1 200 enfants de combattants étrangers se trouvent en Irak. Parmi ces mineurs, il y aurait plus de 200 enfants de combattants français de Daesh.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), around 29,000 children of foreign fighters are blocked in Syria, most of whom are under 12 years old. Among them, 20,000 come from Iraq and 9,000 come from 50 different countries, including France. Moreover, 1,900 children of foreign fighters are living in Iraq. Among these minors, more than 200 children of French Daesh fighters are living in Syria or Iraq.
On 7 October 2019, the Global High Level Segment on Statelessness convened by UNHCR in Geneva will mark the mid-point of UNHCR's iBELONG campaign to end statelessness by 2024. This joint briefing by Consonant, Liverpool Law Clinic and the European Network on Statelessness recommends three urgent reforms for the UK to commit at the event to undertaking by the end of 2020 to improve its approach to statelessness.
On 29 May 2019, the Moldovan Government published instructions for the implementation of legal provisions that came into force in January 2018 recognising Transnistrian civil status acts (Law 310/2017). The Index highlights that in order to register a birth in Moldova, parents must be documented, which can lead to a risk of statelessness for some children whose parents may be unable to meet this requirement.
2018 saw some improvement in Malta, but significant concerns about law, policy and practice on the protection of stateless people and prevention of statelessness remain.
The Index update shows little change in the Netherlands over the course of 2018, as proposed Bills introducing a statelessness determination procedure and amending safeguards in the citizenship law are yet to progress through parliament, leaving continuing gaps on both protection and prevention of statelessness.
The Index update links to a new UNHCR mapping study on statelessness in Switzerland, and now contains analysis of Swiss provisions for the withdrawal of nationality, as well as updated population data, but there has been little concrete change in 2018 and important gaps in law, policy and practice remain.
In 2018, the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia made a welcome public commitment to addressing civil registration challenges that contribute to the risk of statelessness in the country; but the updated Index data shows little concrete change, indicating a need for urgent reform.