Ukraine is party to almost all relevant international and regional instruments, including three of the core statelessness conventions. However, there are some gaps in protection as well as efforts to prevent and reduce statelessness. Data on the stateless population is limited by discrepancies, overlapping categories, and the ongoing territorial dispute. Positively, a Statelessness Determination Procedure was introduced in Ukrainian law in 2020, although bylaws for its implementation are still to be adopted so the procedure is not yet operational. The new law also brought the definition of a stateless person in line with the 1954 Convention. Under the new law, an applicant for stateless status will have temporary status during the procedure enabling access to some rights. Recognised stateless people will be able to acquire a temporary residence permit, and then permanent residence after two years, with a route to naturalisation.
The legal framework on detention is weak with limited protection against arbitrary detention, although alternatives to detention and periodic reviews were introduced in 2016. People released from detention have some protection from re-detention as well as a route to legal residence. Legal safeguards are in place to prevent statelessness in the case of foundlings, adopted children, and those born to Ukrainian nationals abroad, but there is a legal residence requirement for children born stateless in the country to acquire nationality. This gap, along with barriers to birth registration, which was the subject of a second-cycle Universal Periodic Review recommendation, hinders efforts to reduce the large in-situ stateless population in Ukraine, disproportionately made up of ethnic minorities, including Roma.
Oleksandr Snitko, Desyate Kvitnya (Tenth of April)