“Everyone has the right to a nationality”

Protecting Stateless Persons from Arbitrary Detention in Bulgaria

Published: November 2016

ENS report “Protecting Stateless Persons from Arbitrary Detention in Bulgaria”, shows how individuals, despite their cooperation with authorities, fall between the cracks, finding themselves denied either the opportunity to return ‘home’, because no country will recognise them, or to re-build their lives in Bulgaria.

In order to prevent arbitrary and protracted detention, it is critical that the Bulgarian authorities systematically identify whether a person is stateless before making a decision to detain, and linked to this, that officials make a realistic assessment about the prospects of removal. In practice, this requires Bulgaria to have in place a dedicated statelessness determination procedure, crucially one which is accessible to everyone on the territory - including to detainees and others without lawful residence."

European Network on Statelessness is running a three-year project to map and research arbitrary detention of stateless persons in Europe, to create advocacy tools and to train lawyers and NGOs to protect stateless persons from arbitrary detention. More about the project is available on our website including a toolkit for practitioners and different ways to get involved in our work. 

Download the full report
Download the summary report
Download the summary report (Bulgarian)