The last census in Ukraine recorded 82,550 stateless people, and UNHCR estimated there to be at least 35,000 stateless and people with ‘undetermined nationality’ in 2021.
Other sources suggest there could be many thousands more including a significant proportion of the Roma population as well as children born in Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk since 2014. People fleeing the conflict in Ukraine who are stateless or at risk of statelessness may face significant extra barriers when seeking safety abroad because of their lack of nationality or lack of civil documentation. It is imperative to ensure that they are afforded equal access to protection and that their rights are guaranteed.
In this new briefing, we explain why statelessness is important in the Ukraine refugee response and how frontline responders can identify statelessness as well as avenues for stateless people to access protection, support, and services. The briefing also makes a series of recommendations to the EU, European States, international agencies and NGOs to ensure that routes to protection for stateless people from Ukraine.
We are compiling a list of organisations providing advice to stateless people fleeing Ukraine and we have created a special page on our website which we intend to update with resources as the situation develops. Please share this and get in touch if you would like us to add additional information.
The briefing draws on information from ENS members and partners working on the ground to provide assistance to people fleeing Ukraine in neighbouring countries as well as the Statelessness Index.
You can find other resources on our Statelessness and the Ukraine crisis response page.