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Recently a man applied to the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P). He was born in Georgia but this country does not recognize him as its own citizen. In fact, he is waiting for the Stateless Determination Procedure (SDP) to finally become a reality in Ukraine. But there is one major problem: he could be detained and placed in the Migrant Accommodation Centre (MAC).

stateless person could face detention prior to the introduction of the Stateless Determination Procedure georgia citizen stateless in Ukraine особа без громадянства з Грузії в Україні

In January 2021, the territorial unit of the State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMSU) decided to forcibly return him to the country of origin.  Unfortunately, yesterday the appellate court supported the Migration Service and ruled to implement this decision. The fact that a person does not have the citizenship of his country of origin is not a secret, the Migration Service even noted this in the decision. This fact was also taken into account by the court.

As the man has nowhere to return and he cannot do so without the proper documents, he is threatened with detention and then deportation from the territory of Ukraine.  

The man wants to apply for recognition as soon as the Government of Ukraine Resolution “On Some Issues of Recognition as a Stateless Person” of March 24, 2021, enters into force. However, it is not clear if it will save him from the decision on placement to the MAC and on further forced return. After all, he is forced to violate the rules of stay on the territory of Ukraine and despite his wishes, is simply unable to comply with the SMSU & court decisions.

stateless 2 ПТПІ Migrant Accommodation Centre (MAC) in Ukraine

Our beneficiary has a wife, a daughter, and a sister, all of whom have Ukrainian citizenship. The whole family is waiting for the stateless status to become real. The procedure will be available soon, which is likely to happen in the next few weeks.

More details on the Stateless Determination Procedure are available in the video (in Ukrainian) and in an article.

Lawyers of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) have repeatedly stressed that the detention of stateless persons and the extension of the detention of such persons at Migrant Accommodation Center should take place only as a last resort when all the possible alternatives (starting with the least restrictive ones) have been exhausted. In order to determine whether detention is necessary and proportionate, statelessness should be detected at the time of the detention decision and the period of detention should be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

In other words, if it is already known that a person does not have citizenship and his detention will not lead to identification and expulsion, then such detention makes no sense. Basically, a person gets imprisoned while nothing actually depends on him/her.

More about cases of disproportionate detention of stateless persons and unnecessary extension of the detention period can be found on page 26 of the report “State of Observance of the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons” by CF “Right to Protection” (R2P).

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