“Everyone has the right to a nationality”

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The blog entries represent the views of the authors but not those of the Network, unless otherwise noted.

  • Ending childhood statelessness in Italy?

    30 June 2015

    Over the last few years, the problem of childhood statelessness has gained in importance in Italy. The need to adopt adequate legislation and policies as well as practical measures to reduce and to avoid the risk of stateless children has become a priority.

  • Teaching children about statelessness

    24 June 2015

    I take a deep breath and walk into the noisy classroom. My friend, another lawyer from the Halina Niec Legal Aid Centre (HNLAC) follows suit, her step a bit shaky. We are not used to this. We would be more comfortable talking to foreigners in migration detention or rendering legal aid to asylum seekers, even a courtroom seems like a safer and more relaxed place right now.

  • The jus sanguinis bias of Europe and what it means for childhood statelessness

    17 June 2015

    Who is more Dutch: a child born to Dutch nationals in Australia (child A), or a child born to Australian nationals in the Netherlands (child B)? Chances are that if you come from Europe, you will think that child A is more Dutch than child B. This answer is supported by Dutch nationality legislation: while child A is unquestioningly Dutch, child B is only (eligible to become) Dutch under exceptional circumstances.

  • Romania’s stateless children – still unknown, still invisible

    11 June 2015

    When I started working on statelessness in 2009 I was told by more experienced colleagues from civil society organizations, as well as by public authorities with whom I collaborate, that statelessness “is a non-issue in Romania”, just one of those “very marginal” topics that only affect “a handful of...

  • "None of Europe's children should be stateless" - Conference Action Statement & next steps with the campaign!

    8 June 2015

    Our conference in Budapest last week represented an important step in ENS's campaign "None of Europe's children should be stateless".

  • Fighting for children’s right to nationality in Europe

    5 June 2015

    “When is it in the best interests of the child to be stateless? Never!” With these 14 words, Renate Winter, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, persuasively dispelled any lingering doubt there might be that to enjoy a nationality is anything less than a fundamental right of every child.

  • States as a root cause of statelessness

    28 May 2015

    What is the root cause of statelessness? There are many answers to this question – conflict of nationality laws, gender discrimination, persecution of a specific minority or state succession. The ultimate root cause of statelessness is, however, the existence of states.

  • A look back at seven years at the helm of UNHCR’s Statelessness Section

    22 May 2015

    When it comes to issues of forced displacement, there is a massive amount of doctrine, operational guidance and academic writing. There are a range of international organisations involved and many, many NGOs. It is a crowded field. In contrast, in 2008 when I took up my post as head of the Statelessness Section, there was relatively little doctrinal or operational guidance from UNHCR and few NGOs and academics working on statelessness.

  • Using the UPR to address statelessness

    14 May 2015

    The United Nations Human Rights Council has a system of 'Universal Periodic Review' (UPR) which covers all member states of the UN.  This means that each state is considered every 4.5 years across all human rights issues, and so clearly includes statelessness, whether or not the state is a party to the Statelessness Conventions or any other human rights treaties.  This is a political, and sometimes politicised, process but despite, and even sometimes because of, this it...

  • Statelessness determination procedure in Italy: who bears the burden of proof?

    6 May 2015

    The Italian Court of Cassation has recently ruled on a case concerning the statelessness determination procedure (Court of Cassation No. 4262 of 3 March 2015).

    The Court of Cassation reverses a judgment by the Court of Appeal of Rome which refused to recognise the status of stateless person in favor of H.O., a woman of Bosnian origin living in Italy since her birth.

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