RIHR - Signal

Round table on statelessness

On  November 14, the Romanian Institute for Human Rights participated in the round table on statelessness. The event, organized by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), took place at the Parliament Palace.

In the opening speech, Senator Anca Dragu, the president of the Committee for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities, Cults and Minorities stated that: “No one can be arbitrarily deprived of their citizenship or the right to change their citizenship”.

Examples of good practices in the field and the need for collaboration between states and international organizations in addressing statelessness issues were discussed, while the UNHCR presented a series of best practices regarding the identification and protection of stateless persons in Europe. States are encouraged to simplify procedures to facilitate naturalization. Several countries are already implementing more flexible requirements for granting the right of residence. Pablo Zapata, the UNHCR Representative in Romania stated that the UN Refugee Agency offers technical expertise to states that are interested in developing a fair procedure for establishing statelessness, at the same time facilitating the exchange of best practices.

There are currently 288 stateless persons in Romania, of which 113 benefit from international protection.

Among the recommendations addressed to Romania in the framework of the  universal periodic review meeting in the respect of human rights by the UN member states, with regard of statelessness was:  the problem of the lack of reliable data on statelessness and the lack of a procedure for establishing statelessness.

Ending statelessness is an important global goal, and there are various actions that states and the international community can take to address this problem. The prevention of statelessness can be achieved through various methods, among which are the reform of legislation in the field, education and awareness regarding statelessness, collaboration between states and international organizations.

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