Identification Tool for Statelessness in Asylum

1 January 2021 – 31 March 2022


Malta’s stateless population is largely composed of persons seeking international protection here, successfully or otherwise. We do not exclude the presence of stateless persons, or persons at risk thereof, not forming part of the larger population of asylum-seekers, yet for years Government, UNHCR and aditus foundation have been unable to determine the size of this population or its specific characteristics.

In 2019 Malta acceded to the 1954 Statelessness Convention, but has not yet established a determination procedure or established – at law – a statelessness status and associated rights. As such, therefore, stateless persons are not yet able to benefit from specific protection, especially if they are not refugees.

Without access to identification, documentation and protection stateless persons are at risk of discrimination, poverty, homelessness, exploitation and arbitrary detention. Additionally, stateless persons who are beneficiaries of subsidiary protection will never have access to family reunification and citizenship, as these rights are not extended by Malta to subsidiary protection holders.

Our aims and objectives

This project continues our work on statelessness, complementing our research for the Statelessness Index published annually and providing detailed information on the situation in various countries.

This project will therefore seek to:

  1. increase our knowledge and awareness of the specifics of Malta’s stateless population characteristics, with a particular emphasis on Syrian and Libyan refugees communities and convert this to working tools for identifying stateless persons or persons at risk thereof;
  2. provide these communities with improved legal information and support services;
  3. allow us formulate more specific advocacy goals for the protection of stateless refugees in Malta.


In essence, this project will produce a tool or a set of tools that will allow us to identify stateless persons or persons at risk of being stateless, from within Malta’s communities of asylum-seekers and refugees. We will share this tool within our networks in an attempt to secure a better protection environment for stateless persons in Malta.