A campaign to end the arbitrary detention of stateless people is being supported by the churches with leaders signing a statement urging the UK Government to do more to welcome those who no longer have a country to call their home. There are estimated to be 10 million people worldwide who are stateless, defined by the 1954 Statelessness Convention as someone ‘not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law’.
There are currently more than 100 signatories, including Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury; and the Rev Lorraine Mellor, President of the Methodist Conference. There is still an opportunity to add your own name.
The statement asks the UK Government to adhere to five key principles:
- Implement a range of alternatives to detention to ensure that stateless people do not end up locked in limbo simply because they have no country to which they can return.
- Ensure early identification where a person lacks a nationality, and guarantee that detainees have full access to the UK’s statelessness determination procedure.
- Carry out an individual vulnerability assessment as part of every decision to detain.
- Facilitate integration in the community by regularising stateless people and granting them a residence permit and facilitated access to naturalisation.
- Improve monitoring and data collection on statelessness as in order to effectively address the problem it needs to be properly understood.
For more details on the #LockedInLimbo campaign see the Focus on Refugees website.
Church response to the refugee crisis
See our dedicated page for more details of how the churches are responding to the refugee crisis.