DE JURE STATELESSNESS IN SERBIA - A Critical Analysis of the Legal Framework with Regards to Combating Statelessness and the Protection of Stateless Persons
Abstract In the age of proclamation of universalism of human rights, the interrelation between citizenship and human rights still raises concerns. Statelessness, a condition of having no nationality, affects more than 12 million people worldwide causing a legal limbo in which those who are denied a political membership are deprived of access to basic human rights. Being in the shadow of refugee and migration issues, statelessness has not only been neglected on the international arena but in academia, as well. In light of political changes in Eastern Europe during the ‘90s, statelessness came into the spotlight of the international community, as thousands of people remained stateless after the collapse of the USSR and SFRY. Lacking nationality suddenly was equated with being rightless. As international law explicitly addresses the so-called “de jure statelessness” this study examines its nature, causes and effects in a national context. Hence, the compliance of Serbian legislation with its international obligations regarding the prevention and reduction of statelessness and protection of stateless persons is the subject matter of the upcoming discussion. The research explores the extent to which the law serves as mechanism for creating and combating statelessness, as well as the level of interrelation of citizenship and human rights in the given framework. The findings show that, although generally in line with international norms, the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Serbia still contains several gaps which may lead to statelessness. Moreover, an in-depth analysis indicates that rather than being a human, the requirement of one’s “lawful stay” is a prerequisite of access to citizenship and range of available rights. Finally, in lack of a statelessness determination procedure, rights otherwise guaranteed are at risk of remaining rights without right holders.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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