The European Network on Stateless (ENS,) a civil society alliance with 50 member organisations in over 30 countries has initiated a campaign to ensure protection for stateless people across Europe.
The aims of the campaign are twofold: to ensure that all Member States accede to the all Member States to accede to the 1954 Statelessness Convention by the end 2014 and to urge States without a functioning statelessness determination procedure to make a clear commitment during 2014 to take necessary steps to introduce one by the end 2016.
The current absence of determination procedures in Member State legislation is critical to helping stateless persons, and avoiding situations in which human rights can be abused. This absence of determination procedure is in contrast with the existence of dedicated asylum determination procedures, such as the Qualification Directive in Member States that have acceded to the 1951 Refugee Convention.
17 Member States have so far acceded to either or both the UN Statelessness Conventions: the 1957 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
Research conducted by the UNHCR and Asylum Aid, Member of ECRE found that stateless persons in the UK were previously left unidentified and at risk of human rights abuses, in addition to a risk of destitution and homelessness and nearly all were prohibited from working. Since addressing these issues, the UK has introduced new determination procedures. Other EU Member States could follow this example by taking the first step to ratify the two UN conventions.
European Network on Statelessness, Newsletter Issue 3
UNHCR, Guidelines on Statelessness No. 1: The definition of “Stateless Person” in Article 1(1) of the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons
This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 18 October 2013
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