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The role of the European Union in reducing statelessness among Syrian refugee childres

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The role of the European Union in reducing statelessness among Syrian refugee childres

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Samenvatting

Statelessness is a universal problem, which affects more than ten million people worldwide. The UNHCR estimated that every 10 minutes a stateless child is born around the world. As a result of the conflict in Syria, more than 1 million Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries or to the EU. Nevertheless, childhood statelessness among Syrian refugees is an almost invisible problem, which is overshadowed by the more general issue of very large number of Syrian refugees, both within and outside the EU.
The main aim of this dissertation is to evaluate why children from Syrian refugees are born stateless in the EU and what kind of role the EU should have. The central question is as follows;
‘What can the European Union do to reduce statelessness among children from Syrian refugees in the EU?’
Several subquestions have been created and qualitative and limited quantitative research has been conducted to collect the required information. Secondary data, such as official documents of the United Nations, international policy and legislature documents (conventions), books, professional journals, papers and reports (about statelessness) have been used to collect precise, trustworthy and neutral information. Primary data have been collected through an interview with the co-director of Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion, Mrs. van Waas to have more in-depth information about statelessness among children from Syrian refugees.
Several political and legal causes create statelessness among Syrian children born in the EU. These comprise unequal rights in Syrian nationality laws, absence of birth registration and different safeguards in EU Member States to obtain a nationality, but that may require complicated procedures and limited timeframes. These children may, without a nationality or birth registration/certificate, have less access to essential human rights and public services, such as healthcare and education.
The role of the EU in reducing childhood statelessness is at present very limited. It is highly recommended (also by scholars) for the EU to include registration of statelessness in the Common European Asylum System. Another focus point for the EU is to encourage the Member States to eliminate certain conditions in national safeguards that provide citizenship to stateless persons. Furthermore, the EU should encourage those Member States that are as yet not a party to accede the 1954 and 1961 Conventions related to statelessness. Finally, the EU must focus more at the root causes of statelessness worldwide and deal with it in EU foreign policy, because statelessness is a returning problem when new conflicts arise.

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OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingMO Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2016
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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