Statelessness determination and status
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.
Three years since it was published by the Dutch Government in 2016, a legislative proposal for a statelessness determination procedure in the Netherlands is long overdue for discussion in Parliament. Meanwhile, local municipalities are responsible for registering people who are legally resident in their population registers, which includes registering their nationality. Statelessness determination is complex and municipal rules set high evidential thresholds, which means that many people, including children, are registered as having ‘unknown nationality’.
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.
Serbia saw some positive legislative developments in 2018, but the update also highlights some continuing concerns with implementation in practice.
The Index update shows little progress on the part of the UK Government towards addressing the key gaps in law, policy and practice highlighted in March 2018.
In order to highlight the key findings of the Poland country profile on the Statelessness Index - an online tool which allows instant comparison of how different countries protect people without a nationality – the European Network on Statelessness has worked with its partner Halina Nieć Legal Aid Center to develop a Poland country briefing.