Seminar on Statelessness Determination Procedures: Policy Options, Practical Experiences and Challenges

06 Apr 2016


Joint seminar hosted by EMN Ireland, within the Economic and Social Research Institute, and UNHCR Ireland.

This EMN Ireland/UNHCR Ireland event presented information on the experience of stateless people in Ireland, along with two case study examples of dedicated determination procedures adopted by the UK and France. Speakers considered both the challenges and advantages in establishing a statelessness determination procedure. The panel discussion provided an opportunity to consider the form that such a procedure might take in Ireland.

Date:     Thursday, 5 May 2016

Time:    9:30 – 12:30

Venue:  Economic and Social Research Institute, Whitaker Square, Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2

Seminar Agenda:

09:30 Arrival and Registration



Alan Barrett, Director, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)Chair: Emma Quinn, Head of EMN Ireland
10:05 Statelessness in Ireland: Introduction and context

Anne Sheridan, Senior Policy Officer, EMN Ireland (Download presentation) and Susan McMonagle, Protection Assistant, UNHCR Ireland (Download presentation)

10:30 Experiences of statelessness and practical obstacles to regularising status

Catherine Cosgrave, Legal Services Manager, Immigrant Council of Ireland with contribution from speaker with experience of statelessness (tbc)

10:50 Tea / Coffee Break
11:05 UK statelessness determination: policy and practical experience

Lea Jones, Senior Policy Adviser, Asylum and Family Policy, Immigration and Border Policy Directorate, UK Home Office (Download presentation)

11:25 French policy, experience and practice on statelessness

Mourad Derbak, Chef de la Division Europe, Bureau des Apatrides, OFPRA (Office Français de Protection des Réfugiés et des Apatrides) (Download presentation)

11:45 Panel discussion

Chair: Hilkka Becker, Solicitor /Independent Legal Expert


Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service

Immigrant Council of Ireland

OFPRA (Office Français de Protection des Réfugiés et des Apatrides)

Immigration and Border Policy Directorate (UK Home Office)

UNHCR Ireland

12:15 Closing Remarks

Enda O’Neill, Head of Office, UNHCR Ireland

Download seminar programme.


In 2014, UNHCR marked the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness with the launch of a 10 year campaign to end statelessness. Working to achieve greater political commitment to eradicate statelessness, the campaign seeks to resolve and prevent situations where people are not considered a national by any state.

As people without a nationality, stateless people may face many obstacles in their day to day lives. Opening bank accounts, signing employment contracts or even getting married can prove difficult when they cannot secure proof of their nationality or identity. The establishment of a statelessness determination procedure enables States to best assist stateless people overcome these challenges and enjoy their basic human rights.

In December 2015, the Council of the European Union’s Conclusions on Statelessness invited the European Commission to launch exchanges of good practices among Member States, using the European Migration Network as a platform to do so. While Ireland has not yet established a statelessness determination procedure, France has one of the longest established procedures in Europe and the UK introduced a new procedure three years ago. French and UK officials accordingly agreed to come to Ireland to share their experiences in establishing and operating such procedures in their respective countries.

EMN Ireland is co-funded by the European Union (Directorate-General for Home Affairs) and the Department of Justice and Equality.