“Everyone has the right to a nationality”

Protecting Stateless Persons from Arbitrary Detention

Statelessness increases vulnerability to arbitrary arrest and detention. Left in limbo, stateless people are often deprived of their liberty simply because they don't have access to identity documents or a country to call home.

#LOCKEDINLIMBO - How European countries can stop people detention of stateless people

Report on arbitrary detention of stateless persons in the UK

A new report "Protecting Stateless Persons from Arbitrary Detention: An Agenda for Change" warns that stateless people are often detained for months and even years, without any real prospect of their cases being resolved. This is because immigration systems do not have appropriate procedures in place to identify those who are left without nationality and to protect stateless people.

The report calls on European governments to reform their immigration and detention systems to comply with their international human rights obligations and end the arbitrary detention of stateless people. States need to put in place procedures to identify people without nationality so that they don’t end up locked up in limbo.

ENS has launched a new online campaign #LockedInLimbo and a statement signed by civil society organisations and leading lawyers and academics from over 30 European countries will be sent to governments highlighting that consensus is building in Europe that the current use of immigration detention is unsustainable, harmful, and, in many cases, unlawful.

Pan-regional conference on arbitrary detention of stateless people

On 4-5 May 2017, ENS organised a major regional conference in Budapest to launch the #LockedInLimbo campaign as well as to provide a platform for concerted Europe-wide advocacy aimed at protecting stateless persons from arbitrary detention. The conference was attended by over 120 civil society representatives, policy makers, and international agencies from right across Europe. You can view some of the conference highlights in this Storify.

#LockedInLimbo - Budapest (3-5 May 2017)

Publications - Country studies and Regional Toolkit

ENS has published a series of six country reports highlighting the gaps and raising awareness about the extent of the issue and impact on stateless people and a toolkit for practitioners from across Europe.