28 July 2017
The right to a nationality at birth (or soon after) is still painfully often seen as a reserved domain of state sovereignty and discretion, an approach which is incorrect in light of relevant international obligations. Emerging standards related to the rights of the child, the best interest principle, the right to private life, to effective remedy, equal treatment and good administration in the EU and Council of Europe context do create specific obligations for states to do much more to prevent statelessness among refugee children born on the continent. The aim of this short publication is to inspire academic debates and the inception of more, much needed international doctrine, as well as to support practitioners, with an easy-to-use tool, to engage in more strategic litigation on this issue and to support states in improving their domestic regulations.
With the most dramatic refugee crisis in decades, preventing statelessness and everlasting situations of legal uncertainty is a more urging need than ever in Europe.
The paper, which strives to set the fundaments for a new, rights-based approach to refugee children's right to a nationality in Europe, with particular reference to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, was written by the Gábor Gyulai, director of the Refugee Programme of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and was published by European Council on Refugees and Exiles. It is available online here.