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Monday, 30 November 2015

ENS Launced a New Toolkit "Protecting Stateless Persons from Arbitrary Detention”

A new toolkit published today by the European Network on Statelessness (ENS) on the use of immigration detention warns that stateless persons are often detained for months and even years, without any real prospect of being removed or their status resolved. This is due to the fact that immigration systems and detention regimes do not have appropriate procedures in place to identify statelessness and protect stateless persons.

The toolkit is intended as a call to action to all stakeholders to help hold European government to account by insisting that they comply with their international human rights obligations that would prevent this practice. The lack of protection on the one hand and the growth of the immigration detention industry on the other have left many persons currently residing in Europe vulnerable to arbitrary detention.

The toolkit “Protecting Stateless Persons from Arbitrary Detention” is the most recent in a series of publications forming part of a Europe wide research and advocacy effort by the European Network on Statelessness to investigate the law, policy and practice related to the detention of stateless persons. Detention of stateless persons is a disturbing trend across Europe and is happening despite the fact that protection against arbitrary detention is well entrenched under international and regional law. ENS is committed to raising awareness and finding effective solutions to ensure proper protection and respect for human rights.

Chris Nash, Director of the European Network on Statelessness said that "across Europe a failure by states to put in place effective systems to identify stateless persons leaves thousands exposed to repeated and indefinite detention. These vulnerable individuals fall between the cracks, finding themselves denied either the opportunity to return “home”, because no country will recognise them, or to re-build their lives in Europe. This is eminently preventable, and our toolkit is launched as a call to action for states to honour their international human rights obligations, and as a resource to help other stakeholders hold their governments to account”.

***The European Network on Statelessness (ENS) is a civil society alliance with 103 members in 39 countries. It is committed to ending statelessness and ensuring that the estimated 600,000 people living in Europe without a nationality are protected under international law.

ENS is undertaking a 3 year project aimed at better understanding the extent and consequences of the detention of stateless persons in Europe, and advocating for protecting stateless persons from arbitrary detention through the application of regional and international standards. The project will deliver a series of country reports investigating the law, policy and practice related to the detention of stateless persons in selected European countries and its impact on stateless persons and those who are ‘unreturnable’ and therefore often at risk of statelessness.

The project has developed a regional toolkit for practitioners on protecting stateless persons from arbitrary detention. The toolkit is intended to serve as a resource to a range of actors from lawyers, NGOs, judges to legislators and policymakers, and later as a basis for ENS training and ENS strategic litigation programmes. 

Download the toolkit here.

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