On 30 November, the European Network on Statelessness launched a new regional toolkit ‘Protecting Stateless Persons from Arbitrary Detention‘ online and at an event in London. The toolkit is intended as a call to action to all stakeholders to help hold government to account by insisting that they comply with their international human rights obligations that would prevent this practice.
The lack of protection on the one hand and the growth of the immigration detention industry on the other have left many persons currently residing in Europe vulnerable to arbitrary detention.
Evidence shows that in many countries holding stateless migrants in detention for long periods – sometimes indefinitely – is a disturbing trend in Europe. Because there is no country to return the person to, once detained, the detention is likely to be arbitrary, repeated and prolonged leaving people in limbo and exposed to the emotional and psychological stress of lengthy detention.
The failure of immigration regimes to deal with the phenomenon of statelessness, identify stateless persons and ensure they don’t discriminate against them often results in detention. Yet stateless person are seldom recognised as victims of injustice and often are unfairly labelled as refusing to cooperate with the state.
The toolkit ‘Protecting Stateless Persons from Arbitrary Detention‘ is intended as a resource for all those who come into contact with stateless persons – including lawyers, NGOs and stateless detainees themselves, as well as legislators/policy makers and officials or judges responsible for reviewing immigration detention.
Information is categorised by issue and by type of resource/jurisdiction (UN, Council of Europe and EU) – all of which are hyperlinked, along with easy to use checklists for practitioners.