The European Network on Statelessness (ENS) launched a new report today, 3 October, Still stateless, still suffering – Why Europe must act now to protect stateless persons, which contains testimonies by stateless migrants living in 11 European countries. The report offers a snapshot of the situation of Europe’s estimated 600,000 stateless persons. It closely follows 20 individual stories and unveils a previously hidden picture of individuals languishing in immigration detention for years, living destitute on the streets, stuck in an endless limbo and desperately seeking to become a part of mainstream society.
The report critically assesses the situation and makes recommendations for urgent reform by calling on states to implement adequate safeguards and regularisation procedures for stateless persons. According to the Director of the ENS, Chris Nash: “Stateless people do not choose to live without a nationality and they urgently need our help if they are to be rescued from spending years of their lives stuck in limbo – facing detention, destitution and with no way out. Yet the solution is simple and many more states need to follow the recent example set by the UK in establishing a dedicated mechanism to identify and regularise stateless persons.”
The publication of the report coincides with the 60th anniversary of the 1954 UN Statelessness Convention, and is a part of a wider campaign that will culminate in a day of action against statelessness across Europe on the 14 October 2014 when the petition to protect stateless persons will be handed over to European leaders.
This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 3 October 2014. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.