About the webinar
The webinar will present key new trends and data emerging from the 27 countries, including three new country profiles on Albania, Croatia, and Ireland. 2020 has seen positive steps towards new statelessness determination procedures, 1954 Convention reservations withdrawn, and measures to address barriers to birth registration. But the Index highlights that much remains to be done to bring law, policy, and practice in line with States’ international obligations.
After the state of play update, a panel of invited experts will then offer their reflections on what the trends identified mean for stateless communities, national governments, regional institutions and other stakeholders and how we can better work together to ensure stateless people are not left behind in our complex and challenging times.
About the issue
A stateless person is someone who has no nationality, someone who is not recognised as a national by any State. Statelessness affects over half a million people in Europe – both people on the move and those who have lived in the same place for generations – denying many their fundamental rights. Its causes include state succession, gaps in nationality laws, discrimination, displacement, and nationality stripping.
Despite the extent of the problem, many states still lack robust policies to address statelessness. Critically, only a handful of countries in Europe have a dedicated statelessness determination procedure to identify people on their territory without a nationality and to offer appropriate protection status (including residence and other rights under the 1954 Convention) and subsequent naturalisation. Accessing regularisation routes and protection can be more difficult for stateless people due to their marginalisation and lack of documentation. Stateless refugees and migrants are often wrongly assigned a nationality or recorded as having ‘unknown’ nationality. The result can be a failure to identify (and prevent) the risk of statelessness among children born in exile, or barriers to protection, family reunification and naturalisation. A stateless person with no right to residence often has no country they can return to, so if their statelessness is not identified, they can face repeated, futile removal attempts and prolonged detention.