In December 2020, UNHCR in the Czech Republic published a new study - Faces of Statelessness in the Czech Republic - based on in-depth interviews with stateless people, desk research on the domestic legal framework, and available statistical records.
Statelessness has received very little attention in the Czech Republic to date, and for a long time remained hidden. The study shines a light on statelessness in a migratory context in the Czech Republic, presenting not only a legal and statistical analysis, but also, importantly, the stories of those directly affected, highlighting the impact of statelessness on their lives.
Since the study was compiled in 2018, there have been some developments in terms of the situation of stateless people in the Czech Republic. This includes in relation to decision-making on applications for the determination of statelessness and the status of applicants. Updates can be found in the Statelessness Index country profile on the Czech Republic.
In its report, UNHCR made a series of recommendations to improve the situation of stateless people in the country, including:
• Introduce a definition of a stateless person that corresponds with Article 1 of the 1954 Convention;
• Establish clear and transparent procedures for the determination of statelessness;
• Provide for the legal status of applicants during statelessness determination;
• Provide for the residence rights of people recognised as stateless so they lead to a durable solution in the form of acquisition of nationality;
• Develop suitable training for decision-makers;
• Improve the recording of statistical data on statelessness; and
• Introduce specific measures to ensure that stateless people have access to social security assistance.
Photo: Cover of UNHCR, Faces of Statelessness in the Czech Republic, December 2020