“Everyone has the right to a nationality”


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

  • Stateless in the Netherlands: Stuck in paradise?

    23 July 2012 | Karel Hendriks, Statelessness research consultant

    The Netherlands is a splendid country in many ways. Despite amusing political bickering, it’s a stable democracy. Despite the occasional judicial mishap, there’s a strong and independent legal system. Despite austerity and budget cuts, poverty is scarce and social security broad. And, contrary to popular belief, most trains run on time. In short, for most Dutch people life is a breeze – relatively speaking of course. However, entry to this paradise is notably restricted. In this case, citizenship is the key to get in.

  • A growing voice - Network building in Brussels and at UNHCR's NGO Consultations in Geneva

    13 July 2012 | Chris Nash, International Protection Policy Coordinator at Asylum Aid

    Following the launch of our website we have been working hard to spread the word about the European Network on Statelessness (ENS), including through holding briefing events for civil society actors in Brussels and in Geneva. Both events were well attended, and resulted in several organisations applying to join the Network.

  • The UN Human Rights Council

    The UN adopts a new resolution on the right to nationality

    6 July 2012 | Katrine Thomasen & Sebastian Kohn

    Yesterday the UN’s Human Rights Council—a body responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the world—passed an important resolution on the right to nationality, focusing specifically on women and children. This is an important step to further strengthen international legal norms in this area. It is also a strong indication of increasing understanding and concern for those who have no nationality anywhere—the stateless—and those who experience severe discrimination when they attempt to obtain proof of their nationality. 

  • While the World Washes its Hands…

    3 July 2012 | Amal de Chickera

    Since 8 June 2012, Rakhine State of Western Myanmar has been in flames. Hundreds of stateless Rohingya have been killed, disappeared, displaced and had their property destroyed. The Equal Rights Trust yesterday published a situation report which documents the human rights violations that are taking place with impunity in Myanmar as well as Bangladesh’s refoulement of Rohingya refugees.

  • Victory for Slovenia's "erased citizens" at the European Court of Human Rights

    26 June 2012 | Sebastian Kohn

    Almost exactly 21 years ago – on 25 June 1991 – Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia. After this momentous event a period of transitional laws followed, including regulations for acquisition of citizenship in the new state. Slovenia set three conditions for citizenship.  Citizens had to have acquired permanent resident status in Slovenia by 23 December 1990; they must have been residents of Slovenia at the time of independence; and they had to make an application for citizenship within six months of independence.

  • Statelessness in the Tower of Babel – How do you say stateless in your language?

    20 June 2012 | Gábor Gyulai

    “Stateless persons have no nationality.” This statement may sound evident for most readers of this blog and you are probably just asking yourself what else could be said about such a trivial sentence. Now try to translate this statement to another language and things may not look that trivial any more. Certain terms of international law, and its principal language – English, sometimes gain a different meaning if translated into another tongue.

  • On the Road Again! Raising Awareness on Statelessness in the UK

    13 June 2012 | Amal de Chickera

    Stateless persons are amongst the most vulnerable in the world today. The widely quoted figures state that there are more than 12 million stateless persons worldwide with over 600,000 in Europe. There is less certainty about the population in the UK, though recent research sheds some light on the extent of the population and examines the current treatment of stateless persons in the country. 

  • The Birth of the European Network on Statelessness

    7 June 2012 | Chris Nash, International Protection Policy Coordinator at Asylum Aid

    A year which ended with UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, hailing a “quantum leap” in global efforts to tackle statelessness was also an opportune moment for civil society actors to examine how best to coordinate and strengthen their contribution in support of such efforts.

  • No Birth Registration, No Nationality, No Documents, No Rights

    4 June 2012 | Ivanka Kostic, Executive Director, Praxis

    Estimates suggest that there are several thousand people living in Serbia today, predominantly Roma, both children and adults, displaced and domiciled, who are not registered in birth registry books and who are therefore not recognized as persons before the law. We call them the “legally invisible“.

  • Gender discrimination and statelessness in Europe

    29 May 2012 | Laura van Waas, Statelessness Programme

    Discrimination is one of the major underlying causes of statelessness around the world. An unequal right for men and women to acquire, retain or transmit citizenship is one form that discrimination can take in nationality legislation. Where such gender inequality is found, the risk of statelessness – especially for women and children – is severely heightened.