This webinar aims to build practical awareness of how to recognise risks of statelessness and ensure that refugee children are protected and have full access to their rights. It was the third event in our #StatelessJourneys webinar series on Identifying and Addressing Statelessness in the Refugee Context.
This webinar focussed on how frontline refugee responders can identify (risk of) childhood statelessness during asylum procedures, tools for responding to, recording and referring cases of statelessness, and offer an introduction to what needs to change at the policy and operational level.
Children of refugees from certain countries are at heightened risk of being stateless. In host countries where the nationality laws contain safeguards to prevent childhood statelessness, the failure to identify the risk of childhood statelessness can result in such safeguards not being properly applied in practice, and a stateless child may not acquire the nationality of that country even though eligible to do so.
Identifying statelessness is critical to determining international protection needs. In countries of origin or former habitual residence, children may be at risk of persecution or be unable to avail themselves of state protection because of their statelessness. A host state’s failure to identify statelessness can also put children at risk and cause serious human rights violations.
A stateless refugee child whose statelessness remains unidentified may be at heightened risk of living in extreme poverty for extended periods and being pushed into exploitative situations. Failure to identify statelessness can also lead to difficulties for stateless children to access family reunification and naturalization.
Children born in situations of war or forced migration are at heightened risk of not having their birth registered in any country (whether born in their parents’ country of origin/former habitual residence, a transit country, or in a host country). A child whose birth is not registered is at increased risk of not being considered a national of any country and not being able to access other rights, such as education, welfare benefits, and healthcare.