“Everyone has the right to a nationality”

From Syria to Europe: Experiences of Stateless Kurds and Palestinian Refugees from Syria Seeking Protection in Europe

Published: January 2019

As part of a joint #StatelessJourneys project, the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI), ASKV Refugee Support and the European Network on Statelessness (ENS) are publishing a new report "From Syria to Europe" exposing the experience of stateless refugees at different stages of their journey.

Statelessness is an overlooked and often invisible issue playing out in the context of refugee arrivals to Europe every day. Yet, according to Eurostat, 95,000 people who applied for asylum in the EU between 2015 and 2017 were recorded as ‘stateless’, of ‘unknown nationality’, or their nationality was recorded as ‘Palestine’. Although the figures demonstrate that the group concerned is significant, the EU has yet to develop a dedicated response to identify and address the specific needs of stateless refugees. Moreover, most countries in Europe are inadequately prepared to respond. Only a handful of states have statelessness determination procedures in place. 
The research focuses on two communities: stateless Kurds from Syria and stateless Palestinians from Syria and examines how lack of nationality affects their experience of the migration process and impacts on their opportunities for protection and durable solutions. The research looked at their country of origin (Syria), a key transit country through which they often travel to get to Europe (Greece), and one of the destination countries (the Netherlands).