Advocating for human rights of stateless people in Geneva

There are Pre-sessions to the 42nd session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva right now. We are advocating for the rights of stateless persons in Czechia in cooperation with the European Network on Statelessness (ESN) and the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI).

The limited access to basic rights of stateless persons is a common issue in Europe. Many thousands of refugees coming to Europe are without a nationality, and some children born to refugees may be at risk of statelessness. Today, statelessness affects over 500,000 people living in Europe. Stateless people face discrimination as the current law and policies often fails to adequately address this, resulting in poor decision making and a failure to protect fundamental rights. ENS launched the Stateless Journeys campaign that calls for full access to rights and support for stateless refugees. We also strive for a change through international mechanisms such as UPR.

UPR is an inter-governmental mechanism evaluating the human rights situation in UN Member States. Human rights in Czechia are going to be reviewed during the 42nd session of UPR in January 2023. It is going to be the fourth of such a review.

There are UPR Info’s Pre-sessions in Geneva right now from 29 November to 2 December. During these Pre-sessions, civil society representatives are meeting with representatives of UN Member States and providing them with information on human rights. OPU is part of that.

The joint statement of OPU, ENS, and ISI is focused on the human rights of stateless persons in Czechia, emphasizing the lack of a statelessness determination procedure, limited procedural safeguards for statelessness applicants, and the limitations on access to rights that should be granted to stateless persons. Also, gaps in the legal framework to protect stateless people from arbitrary immigration detention are highlighted. You can find the statement further down.

UN Member States will use the gathered information to prepare their recommendations on the human rights situation. They will give these recommendations to Czechia during upcoming January’s UPR session.

Later, the UN Human Rights Council will adopt a report on the reviewed state during its plenary session. Based on this report Czechia should take steps toward implementing the accepted recommendations. The next UPR of Czechia will take place in about 4.5 years.

Below, you can also find the factsheet on statelessness in Czechia.

Joint statement of OPU, ENS, and ISI

Factsheet on statelessness in Czechia