“Everyone has the right to a nationality”

Preventing Childhood Statelessness in Europe: Issues, Gaps and Good Practices

Published: April 2014

The European Network on Statelessness (ENS) has published a new report, Preventing Childhood Statelessness in Europe: Issues, Gaps and Good Practices.

Across Europe today, children are still being born into statelessness. Many have inherited their statelessness from parents who were stateless before them, while others are the first in their family to experience statelessness, as the unsuspecting victims of a gap or conflict in nationality laws. Whatever the circumstances in which childhood statelessness arises, the vast majority of those affected have been stateless since birth.

They have never known the protection or sense of belonging which a nationality bestows. Yet, childhood statelessness is thoroughly preventable. International and regional standards in the fields of human rights, child rights and statelessness all protect the child’s right to acquire a nationality. This report looks at how Europe is performing with respect to these standards and in light of the overall goal of preventing childhood statelessness, highlighting the main issues, gaps and good practices. 

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