WEBINAR: Protection: determining statelessness in the refugee context

27 April 2023 13:00 - 13:45 CEST

On Thursday 27 April, we held the second event in our #StatelessJourneys webinar series on Identifying and Addressing Statelessness in the Refugee Context. The webinar will address how frontline refugee responders can improve the identification and determination of statelessness in refugee reception and refugee status determination procedures.



Webinar overview

This webinar addressed how frontline refugee responders can improve the identification and determination of statelessness in refugee reception and refugee status determination procedures. Building on lessons from the first webinar which focused on asylum registration and screening, it presented the importance of considering statelessness when assessing asylum claims, tools for recognising, recording and referring cases of statelessness, and offered an introduction to what needs to change at the policy and operational level.

Failure to address statelessness in the asylum context can put people at risk and cause serious human rights violations. Stateless refugees whose statelessness has not been addressed may be required to stay in reception centres for prolonged periods due to uncertainty about their nationality, subject to refoulement or unlawfully detained for the purposes of removal, and their children may be denied the right to a nationality.

Lack of nationality may be the reason that a stateless person has left their country of origin and fears persecution, which should therefore be assessed as part of an asylum claim. Other stateless people may be among those displaced by more generalised conflict. Either way, statelessness should be properly determined through a dedicated statelessness determination procedure (SDP) or as part of a refugee status determination procedure.

A lack of standardised procedures for identifying statelessness throughout the asylum system can negatively impact refugee status determination and/or result in other harmful impacts for stateless people.


13:00-13:05 Welcome

13:05-13:20 Presentation by PatrĂ­cia Cabral, European Network on Statelessness

ENS will present its briefing on refugee reception and status determination

13:20-13:35 Presentation by Claudia Bonamini, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)

An overview of the work of the Jesuit Refugee Service across Europe and how it is improving the identification and protection of stateless refugees.

13:35-13:45 Q&A & closing remarks

Who is the webinar aimed at?

This webinar is aimed at anyone working within the refugee or asylum context, including government and civil society practitioners, legal advisors, and community representatives. It will be particularly relevant for those involved in decision-making or provision of advice in refugee status determination procedures.

Related topics



Claudia Bonamini

Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Europe


PatrĂ­cia Cabral

Legal Policy Coordinator, European Network on Statelessness (ENS)

About the Series

Many frontline refugee practitioners have limited awareness of statelessness or how to identify or adequately assist stateless persons with issues relating to lack of nationality.

The Stateless Journeys campaign and website was launched by ENS in late 2022, to build awareness around how statelessness plays out in refugee communities. We have launched eight short briefings relating to various aspects of (risk of) statelessness, designed to increase awareness particularly amongst frontline practitioners on how to respond adequately. These are available in 10 different languages.

This series of 4 short webinars from March to May 2023 will offer an introduction to refugee practitioners on issues covered in the briefing tools and build awareness around addressing statelessness.


Improving identification of statelessness in asylum registration and screening

The failure to identify statelessness and protect stateless people can put people at risk and cause serious human rights violations. This webinar will focus on how to identify (risk of) statelessness during the asylum procedure, and why this is important.

Registration and Screening (statelessjourneys.org)

View the recording and slides. 

Children’s right to a nationality and birth registration

A child who is not considered a national of any country is often unable to access other rights, like education, welfare benefits, and healthcare. This webinar aims to build practical awareness of how to recognise this and ensure refugee children are protected against statelessness.

Children's Rights to a Nationality (statelessjourneys.org)

Birth Registration (statelessjourneys.org)

Detention and return - protecting the rights of stateless people

Stateless people refused asylum can end up spending prolonged periods of time unlawfully detained because they have no country to which they can be returned. This can be avoided by knowing how to recognize and follow up on cases where someone is without nationality.

Detention and Return (statelessjourneys.org)

Related topics