Photo by Simon Collison on Flickr.
The Portuguese parliament has adopted a law that introduces the definition of a stateless person and recognises that persons who are considered stateless according to the 1954 Convention are entitled to a travel document and statelessness status. The law amends existing provisions of the Asylum Act and the Immigration Act, although further legislation must be approved to establish a statelessness determination procedure (SDP), safeguards for applicants, the rights granted upon recognition of statelessness status, and the authority responsible for assessing claims. As the Statelessness Index shows, Portugal has currently no SDP nor any other administrative procedure through which statelessness can be determined. This new law is the first and very much welcome step towards the protection of stateless people in Portugal.