OPU, with the help of its partner European Network on Statelessness, created a Statelessness Index for the Czech Republic, which comprises the current legal framework, policy and practice of the Czech Republic in the identification and treatment of stateless persons. The Czech Republic joined other 23 European countries in this Index. It is therefore possible to put the situation of the Czech Republic in a broader context, to compare the legal framework in other countries, to get inspiration from examples of good practice and to find out what we can improve.
Due to the lack of legislation in this matter, the status of stateless persons is not regulated and these people continue to be neglected by state authorities and public. They often live on the very edge of society, with no possibility of better prospects, because they do not have documents, cannot legally work or get medical treatment. OPU represents these foreigners legally, accompanies them for interviews and fights to put in place a stable legislative framework in line with the Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons to which the Czech Republic acceded in 2004.
There is not much information about this issue in the Czech context, and the Statelessness Index is a new tool for advocacy in the Czech Republic, for example thanks to examples of good practice from other European countries. In the Index, it is possible to find out comprehensive legislation in terms of international obligations of particular country, in terms of national legislation, the statelessness determination procedure, detention, or the mechanisms of prevention and reduction of statelessness in different states. Moreover, the Statelessness Index can also serve civil society, such as academics, students, or stateless persons themselves, as they can find information about their own rights.
Based on the information gathered in the Czech context, it is necessary to introduce legislation in order to ensure a stable and secure legal status of these persons both during the procedure (during the application) and after the status has been granted. In particular, they must be granted a stable residence permit and their access to naturalization must be facilitated.
You can consult Statelessness Index on the following website : https://index.statelessness.eu/country/czech-republic
The issue of international homelessness was also discussed with OPU lawyer in an interview for Czech Radio.
OPU will continue to advocate rights of this vulnerable group.