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.
As the Index highlighted last year, there is still no mechanism to identify or determine statelessness in the Republic of North Macedonia and no stateless protection status. There are basic protections against arbitrary detention and some safeguards to prevent and reduce statelessness, but significant gaps remain, which hinder the country’s progress towards compliance with international standards for the protection of stateless people and prevention of statelessness.
In particular, barriers to universal birth and civil registration continue to disproportionately impact on minority groups, including Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians. A public call for registration by those who lack personal documents was launched by the Government in April 2018 to try and address this, but there remain legal and practical barriers that require sustainable reform.
Other new information added to the Index in 2018 includes updated population data, and information on law, policy and practice relating to the withdrawal of nationality, where Macedonian law is assessed positively against international norms.
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