ERT Launches "Unravelling Anomaly: Detention, Discrimination and the Protection Needs of Stateless Persons"

Today, The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) launches its report “Unravelling Anomaly: Detention, Discrimination and the Protection Needs of Stateless Persons”. The report, which is the result of two years of research, reflection and debate, is ERT’s contribution to a growing body of expertise on statelessness. 

Stateless persons are those who have no nationality, or whose nationality is ineffective. This report approaches the subject through the prism of detention - a crucial issue which offers unique insight into the broader challenge of statelessness.
The stateless person, who cannot legally travel, reside in a country, work, study or receive health care, and whose life is a tightrope walk along the dividing line between legality and illegality, is often at heightened risk of detention. How a state treats stateless detainees is a reflection of how committed it is to protect those whose rights are most at risk.
Amal De Chickera, lead researcher and coordinator of the project, stated:
“In 1949 the UN described stateless persons – marginalised from society – as an “anomaly”. This was because legal systems were ill-equipped to deal with them. Sixty years later, the stateless remain an anomaly and continue to be marginalised. In this report, ERT attempts to unravel the anomaly.”
The report finds that inequality and discrimination lie at the heart of the statelessness problem, as does the eternal tug-of-war between universal human rights and national sovereignty.
It also finds that many persons who are held in long term immigration detention “awaiting removal” are in reality stateless, and therefore cannot be removed.
The report argues that statelessness should primarily be seen as a human rights issue, that the UNHCR and human rights treaty bodies should work in partnership to address the challenge, that all countries should implement statelessness determination procedures and that authoritative guidelines should be developed to regulate the detention of stateless persons.

To read the full report, click here.
To read sections of the report, click here.
To read the Executive Summary, click here.

For further information, please contact Amal De Chickera:
Tel: +44 (0)207 610 2786

Or Jim Fitzgerald:
Tel : +44 (0)207 610 2786
Mobile : +44 (0) 789 188 2387