Launch of two new Statelessness INDEX countries – Georgia and Türkiye

19 Bře 2024 / Detention / Georgia / International and Regional Instruments / Prevention and reduction / Statelessness determination and status / Statelessness population data / Türkiye
Georgia and Türkiye

Today, we are launching new country profiles on Georgia and Türkiye. This brings the total number of StatelessnessINDEX countries to 32.

While most countries have common international obligations to protect stateless people and prevent statelessness, there is a lack of harmonised and comprehensive approaches to tackle the issue. As a result, many stateless people remain unidentified and denied the protection owed to them under international law. Equally, there is often a failure to implement relevant safeguards to break the cycle of statelessness in Europe.

The StatelessnessINDEX is an online resource to better understand what’s happening on the ground, spotlight good practice, and support informed advocacy to address the challenges that stateless people face in Europe.

While challenges remain, Georgia sets several good practice examples
New analysis on Georgia shows that, overall, the country performs well. It is party to the 1954 and the 1961 UN Conventions and has taken steps to implement them. Georgia introduced a statelessness determination procedure (SDP) in 2012, which leads to a dedicated statelessness status, including a residence permit and rights that are mostly in line with nationals.

Georgia has also taken recent steps to prevent and reduce statelessness. It conducted a door-to-door campaign in 2022 to identify stateless people, determine their nationality status, and provide identity documents, which reduced the number of individuals affected. However, there are still challenges, including that a significant part of the Romani population remains at risk of statelessness. Since January 2024, stateless people can naturalise after five years as opposed to ten, although other stringent eligibility criteria continue to apply. Georgia has a relatively good framework in place to ensure birth registration and there are safeguards in law to prevent childhood statelessness, albeit some gaps remain.

Türkiye assessed positively on aspects of its legal framework but implementation challenges remain
Türkiye hosts one of Europe’s largest refugee populations, which includes a significant number of stateless people. However, the size of the stateless population is difficult to estimate as data is incomplete, and this has never been mapped. Türkiye is party to the 1954 Convention but not to the other statelessness conventions.

Positively, Türkiye established an SDP in 2013, which leads to a dedicated statelessness status. However, there are some barriers to access, including lack of awareness, limited information, and bureaucratic hurdles. A person recognised as stateless is issued an identity document, has the right to stay, and can access several socio-economic rights. There is a temporary protection regime for people fleeing the war in neighbouring Syria, including those who are stateless, but beneficiaries don’t have a route to naturalisation in Türkiye. There are also no facilitated routes to naturalisation for other stateless people.

There are relatively good safeguards in law to prevent childhood statelessness for foundlings and in the context of adoption, and there is a provision that allows otherwise stateless children born in Türkiye to apply for nationality, but there are challenges with implementation. Improvements could also be made to reduce in situ statelessness, as few measures have been put in place in recent years.

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