Integration in the community
The country research demonstrates that a failure to grant legal status and protection to those released from detention or who cannot be removed, succeeds only in driving them into destitution, isolation, and long-term suffering. People must be granted the right to a basic and dignified standard of life. Essential to this, is providing a facilitated route to naturalisation for those people recognised as stateless. Many examples emerged from the research of men, women and children living in limbo, denied their rights and an opportunity to rebuild their lives.
Governments have a duty to act to ensure that the rights and protections of stateless people or those at risk of statelessness are recognised, and that they are provided with opportunities to rebuild their lives, integrate into their communities, and access a facilitated route to naturalisation.
- Authorities should grant compensation to individuals whose detention has been deemed unlawful.
- Authorities should protect those released from detention from re-detention and grant them legal status in accordance with their rights.
- Stateless people and those at risk of statelessness should be provided with the basic rights and freedoms to facilitate their integration in the community.
- Nationality laws should provide a facilitated route to naturalisation for people recognised as stateless
"I am not a criminal. (...) This detention looks like criminal detention but I am not a criminal."Abdulla from Afghanistan arrived in Ukraine in his early twenties. He managed to cross the border into Slovakia and request asylum, but the Slovak border guards would only admit the families with children in the group. Single men, including Abdulla, were returned to Ukraine and detained. After a year in immigration detention, Abdulla was released with a temporary residence permit as he could not be removed to Afghanistan without a travel document. This temporary status entitled him to remain in Ukraine but did not give him the right to work or access welfare or healthcare services. Frustrated by the limbo he was facing he tried again to cross into the EU, but was again apprehended and detained. Abdulla remains in detention in Ukraine.
John was born in South Sudan to Liberian parents. When he was five, he moved to Liberia, but he lost contact with his family during the conflict when he was abducted, tortured and forcibly conscripted as a child soldier. John fled to the Netherlands and lived there irregularly for many years before coming to the UK and applying for asylum. His asylum claim was refused and he became destitute. John spent three years in immigration detention, during which he was interviewed by the Liberian, Nigerian and Sudanese authorities, all of whom said he was not their national. Following a legal challenge to the lawfulness of his detention, John was awarded damages but he was released with an electronic tag and a curfew. John’s application for statelessness status was refused because he has a criminal conviction.
"I feel like in jail. I have no human rights. When I was 24 I was so stressed that I had a hearth attack."Yassin is a stateless Bidoon from Kuwait in his late twenties. He sought asylum in the United Kingdom, but was refused protection. Yassin later married an EU citizen and applied for leave to remain, but he was refused because he has no passport and the UK Government said he could obtain Kuwaiti nationality. He contacted the Kuwaiti embassy and was told that he could not apply for citizenship. Yassin has been in the UK for nine years living with temporary status, denied the right to work or rebuild his life.