Good Practices Paper – Action 6: Establishing statelessness determination procedures to protect stateless persons

Published: 11/Jul/2016
Source: UNHCR

Action 6 of the Global Action Plan calls on States to grant protection status to stateless migrants through the establishment of statelessness determination procedures, and facilitate their naturalization. A statelessness determination procedure serves to identify stateless persons among migrant populations to ensure that they enjoy the rights to which they are entitled until they acquire a nationality. In 2014, UNHCR published its Handbook on Protection of Stateless Persons. This doctrinal tool is intended to help governments, policy makers, administrative adjudicators, the judiciary, NGOs, legal practitioners, UNHCR staff and others to interpret and apply the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons (1954 Convention) and to facilitate the identification and proper treatment of such persons.  Part Two of the Handbook covers the modalities for creating statelessness determination procedures (SDPs) that enable States to recognize and grant protection status to stateless persons, including questions of evidence that arise in the course of such procedures. Part Three of the Handbook discusses the status of, or minimum protection to be afforded to, stateless persons under national law.

This Good Practices Paper complements the Handbook by presenting a brief overview of the key elements of SDPs and illustrating these with good practices from selected countries that are among a small pool that have established such procedures to date. The table in the Annex provides an overview of current practice in most of the countries that have a mechanism in place to identify stateless persons. The Handbook remains UNHCR’s authoritative guidance on the issue and should be disseminated and cited as such.

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An updated version of the paper was published in 2020.

Themes: African and international standards, International standards, Statelessness
Regions: International
Year: 2016