Childhood statelessness in the UK & the upcoming Nationality and Borders Bill

9 September 2021 12:00 - 13:00 CEST

The European Network on Statelessness is hosting a panel of child rights and statelessness experts, to discuss the changes in the upcoming Nationality and Borders Bill and how this will affect children growing up without a nationality in the UK.


The issue of childhood statelessness in the UK is currently not adequately understood. Although there are routes to citizenship for stateless children in British nationality law these entitlements are not widely known by professionals and families, and they are subject to potential new restrictions under the Nationality & Borders Bill.

The European Network on Statelessness (ENS) has been working with its UK members to better understand the causes of childhood statelessness in the UK, the children affected, the consequences for them and their families, and what action could be taken to help prevent and reduce childhood statelessness in the UK.


  • Nina Murray - Head of Policy & Research, European Network on Statelessness
  • Andy Sirel - Legal Director & Partner, Just Rights Scotland
  • Sirazul Islam – Youth Director, British Rohingya Community UK
  • Anita Hurrell - Head of the Migrant Children’s Project, Coram Children’s Legal Centre
  • Andie Lambe – Independent Consultant

About the webinar

In June 2020, with the support of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, ENS set out to understand the issue of childhood statelessness in the UK. The first phase of the project sought to identify key groups of children and young people who are stateless or at risk of statelessness in the UK and to identify the main barriers to these stateless children acquiring British citizenship.   

This webinar will situate ENS’s recent report ‘Invisible Kids: Childhood statelessness in the UK’ within the broader context, highlight the real and practical hurdles and impacts faced by stateless children in the UK and contextualise this all within the proposed amendments to the statelessness provisions in the Nationality and Borders Bill, currently entering the Committee stage in Parliament.

After the presentation of the research and recommendations, a panel of invited experts will then offer their perspectives as representatives of affected people and talk to the broader impacts and effects of childhood statelessness. The event will conclude with an opportunity for the audience to engage with the panel through a question and answer session. 

About the issue

Childhood statelessness in the UK is not currently adequately understood by government officials, legal practitioners, judges, politicians, policy advocates, frontline service providers, local authority staff, and others. Children born in the UK do not automatically acquire British citizenship unless they are born to at least one British citizen parent or at least one parent who was ‘settled’ at the time of their birth. Many countries’ nationality laws do not provide for automatic acquisition of nationality for children born to their nationals abroad. As such, this, and other circumstances explored in the report, can leave some children born in the UK stateless.


Related topics