This new report by the European Network on Statelessness, DLA Piper, and Diakonie Fluchtlingsdienst sheds light on the issue of childhood statelessness in Austria. Following the publication of UNHCR’s mapping study of statelessness in Austria earlier this year, the report now brings renewed focus to ENS’ Europe-wide #StatelessKids campaign, examining how Austrian law and policy stands up to scrutiny on the prevention and reduction of childhood statelessness.
The report makes a series of recommendations including to increase the age limit within which children who would otherwise be stateless can apply for Austrian nationality, to bring it in line with the 1961 Convention. The report also calls for legislation that restricts access to citizenship for children in specific circumstances, to be amended. For example, foundlings must be under six months old when found to be eligible for Austrian citizenship, and the process for conferral of citizenship on a child over 14 years-old adopted by Austrian citizens, is unclear.