Joint Submission to the Human Rights Council at the 42nd Session of the Universal Periodic Review – Czech Republic

Publications
Submission

This joint submission to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on the Czech Republic was submitted by the Organization for Aid to Refugees (OPU), the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI), and the European Network on Statelessness (ENS).

This submission highlights why statelessness remains an issue in the Czech Republic, focusing in particular on:

I.             Statelessness determination and access to rights

II.            Liberty and security of the person and arbitrary detention

III.           Children’s right to a nationality

IV.          The protection of stateless people and people at risk of statelessness fleeing the war in Ukraine

The submission urged reviewing States to make the following key recommendations to the Czech Republic to resolve the existing gaps and challenges and ensure the protection of stateless persons and prevention of statelessness:

  1. Establish a clear and predictable statelessness determination procedure in law that guarantees basic procedural rights and safeguards during the procedure such as the right to remain on the territory, identification of applicants, access to healthcare, work permits, the right to an effective remedy) and leads to a statelessness status and rights in line with the 1954 Convention.
  2. Provide recognised stateless persons with a right to residence with a route to permanent residence and naturalisation, in line with UNHCR guidance.
  3. Assess statelessness during the decision to detain and vulnerability assessments, and ensure a country of removal is identified prior to detaining someone.
  4. Make it a requirement to exhaust all alternatives to detention prior to the decision to detain and include cumulative time spent in detention to count towards the maximum time limit.
  5. Establish a regular periodic review of the necessity for continued detention and issue identification documents and a residence status to individuals upon release of detention.
  6. End the detention of children and families, especially in closed immigration detention centres, and introduce feasible and accessible alternatives to detention, including non-custodial accommodation for migrant families with children.
  7. Introduce a full safeguard in nationality law, policy, and practice to ensure that children born in the Czech Republic have their nationality status determined, irrespective of the actions or status of their parents, to guarantee the child’s right to a nationality and ensure that stateless children born in the Czech Republic acquire a nationality.
  8. Ensure that stateless people and people at risk of statelessness from Ukraine who fled the war and seek protection in the Czech Republic access protection and do not face discrimination.
Related topics