New stateless determination in UK welcomed by UN refugee agency

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Interviews are an essential part of the stateless determination process. (© UNHCR/D.Telemans)

The new procedure to determine the status of stateless persons in the United Kingdom has been welcomed by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming explains why the procedure, which came into effect on 6 April, is so important for stateless persons in the country.

"It allows stateless people who are currently really living on the margins of society, having no documents, no recognition, in legal limbo, a route to be formally recognized as stateless persons and to legalize their presence in the UK. This is a landmark step: recall that there are 12 million stateless people worldwide. Most stateless people do stay in the countries where they are residing but some do migrate." (29")

Melissa Fleming says that stateless persons who migrate often find their asylum claims rejected because they haven't been persecuted or they don't come from a war-torn country.

These people, she points out, end up living on the street or in detention.

According to Ms. Fleming, many countries have pledged to adopt a similar mechanism to follow the example of the United Kingdom.

Dianne Penn, United Nations

Duration: 1'15"

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