“Everyone has the right to a nationality”

Statelessness Determination in the Netherlands

Published: May 2014

The paper argues that the Netherlands lacks an adequate mechanism for the identification of stateless persons, and is therefore not complying with its international obligations in the field of statelessness. It challenges the position of the Dutch government that existing procedures that stateless persons can appeal to are adequately in conformity with the relevant international standards. This paper contains a detailed analysis of the two procedures which have been invoked by the Dutch government in defence of the current statelessness protection and identification regime in the Netherlands, namely the registration of individuals in population registers, and the procedure for obtaining the so-called ‘no-fault’ residence permit. It illustrates that neither of the two are effective alternatives for statelessness determination. In addition, recent legislative changes that might affect the registration of statelessness in the Netherlands are discussed, and a proposal put forward by the UNHCR for a determination procedure in courts is evaluated.

 Source: Katja Swider

Date: May 2014