London, 11 June 2012
The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) is a founding member of the European Network on Statelessness (ENS) - a network of non-governmental organisations, academic initiatives, and individual experts committed to address statelessness in Europe. The Network officially launched on Friday, 8 June 2012, and is open to non-governmental organisations, research centres, academics and other individuals. ERT’s Head of Statelessness and Nationality Projects, Amal de Chickera, is a steering committee member and focal point for law and policy activities of the ENS.
The press release issued by the ENS to mark the launch is below:
The European Network on Statelessness: A civil society coalition
The European Network on Statelessness is a new civil society alliance committed to address statelessness in Europe. Find out more about us at www.statelessness.eu.
Statelessness in Europe
Statelessness affects more than 12 million people around the world and at least 600,000 in Europe alone. To be stateless is to not be recognized as a citizen by any state. It is a legal anomaly that often prevents people from accessing fundamental civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights.
In Europe, statelessness occurs both among recent migrants and among people who have lived in the same place for generations. Most countries in the region frequently encounter stateless persons in their asylum systems. In the Balkans and elsewhere many Roma remain stateless as a result of ethnic discrimination. Statelessness is also a continuing reminder of the break-up of the Soviet Union.
Despite the scale of the problem, most European countries have no framework to effectively deal with statelessness and tackling this requires major law and policy reform. The European Network on Statelessness is dedicated to strengthening the often unheard voice of stateless persons in Europe and to advocate for full respect of their human rights.
The European Network on Statelessness
The European Network on Statelessness started as a joint initiative of Asylum Aid, the Equal Rights Trust, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, the Open Society Justice Initiative, Praxis, and the Statelessness Programme at Tilburg University.
The Steering Committee of the Network met in July 2011 for the first time. Now, eleven months later, we are proud to officially launch this initiative.
The European Network on Statelessness encourages regional and international institutions to address statelessness within their respective mandates. We also urge countries in the region to adopt policies to prevent and reduce statelessness, and to provide protection to stateless persons.
In order to build capacity among policy makers and civil society organisations in Europe, the Network provides training and expert advice, as well as a forum for dedicated research, monitoring and exchange of information on statelessness.
The European Network on Statelessness is open to non-governmental organisations, research centres, academics and other individuals. For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org