C Explanatory memorandum by Mr Huseynov,
rapporteur for opinion
1 The Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced
Persons welcomes the report by the rapporteur of the Committee on
Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Mr Boriss Cilevičs, which highlights
the limited number (20) of ratifications of the European Convention
2 The committee notes the many important issues raised in the
report and endorses the importance of the right to nationality as
the “right to have rights”, and regrets that the numbers of stateless
persons remains high among Council of Europe member States.
3 Migration and access to nationality are closely linked and
in some cases migration can be the cause of a person’s statelessness.
The committee would like to draw attention to three areas: naturalisation,
acquisition of nationality at birth and multiple nationalities.
4 With regards to naturalisation policies, the committee wants
to emphasise the importance of access to such procedures, and for
these to be fair and cover common minimal standards across member
States. With increasing numbers of people living outside their country
of nationality, ensuring access to naturalisation helps to avoid
the creation of a two-tier society with citizens having more rights
than non-citizens. Acquisition of nationality also contributes to
migrants’ sense of belonging and encourages greater integration.
5 Particular attention should be paid to children, with respect
to member States’ obligations to prevent and avoid statelessness.
Universal birth registration helps to reduce the risk of statelessness.
Access to birth certificates in the child’s country of birth and
nationality, either of the country of birth or country of nationality
of the parents, should be possible regardless of the parent’s immigration
status, gender or other obstacle in law and in practice. Member
States should pay particular attention to any legislation that conflicts
with this right, such as public servants’ duty to report irregular
6 Increased mobility also means that people are living increasingly
transnational lives, maintaining strong links with their country
of birth and their country of main residence. A consequence of this
are mixed marriages, where partners have different nationalities.
Neither partner should be prevented from having full access to their rights
as a result of not being able to acquire the nationality of their
partner. Children of parents with different nationalities should
be eligible to access both nationalities.