Social & Economic rights

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Praxis alongside 50 other civil society organizations calls on European countries to end childhood statelessness

Today the European Network on Statelessness (ENS) which represents over fifty civil society organisations from across Europe including Praxis will hand over a petition to members of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe calling on European leaders to work to end childhood statelessness.

The petition which received over 21,000 signatures highlights the need to protect thousands of children in Europe from the scourge of statelessness, and is a part of a wider campaign bringing together a broad spectrum of actors mounting pressure on European countries to reform their nationality laws which prevent children from acquiring a nationality. This campaign will see national level events in Italy, Poland, Slovenia, France, UK, Albania, Macedonia and Serbia among other countries.

Childhood statelessness remains an issue across Europe, and thousands of children are left without a nationality due to legal loopholes and states’ failure to properly apply relevant safeguards. Fewer than half of all European countries have fully incorporated necessary safeguards into domestic laws to fulfil their international obligation to protect the right of every child to acquire a nationality. 

Research carried out by ENS revealed that often children born to parents without a nationality are inheriting their statelessness. Abandoned and orphaned children where the parents’ nationality is not known can also be at risk, as can children who go through international adoption arrangements and those who have arrived in Europe as refugees. 

Stateless children often have limited access to healthcare, education and will experience a lifetime of restrictions when they progress towards adulthood. 

Chris Nash, director of the European Network on Statelessness emphasized:

“It is difficult to imagine what life is like for children growing up without nationality. For those affected this can mean missing out on healthcare, education and other opportunities, as well as result in unfulfilled potential and a sense of never quite belonging. It brings hardship and anguish to children and their parents alike.

Support for the #StatelessKids campaign across Europe, including over 21,000 petition signatures, shows a real appetite to end statelessness and the suffering that this causes to children and parents alike. The good news is that statelessness is a solvable issue so by working together, civil society actors and governments can put a stop to it once and for all.”


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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action