A STUDY ON STATELESSNESS AND RISKS OF STATELESSNESS IN MALAWI
Background and context
The Ministry of Homeland and Security’s Department for Refugees which is responsible for managing refugees and asylum seekers engaged the Consultant to undertake a study on statelessness and the risks of statelessness in Malawi. The engagement followed the Malawi Government’s pledge made in November 2019 at the High-Level Segment on Statelessness hosted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). During the engagement in Geneva Malawi pledged to undertake and publish a qualitative study on statelessness by June 2020. The Government of Malawi’s aim for the study was to better understand the situation of groups and individuals that are stateless or at risk of statelessness in Malawi with the aim of finding a solution to their situation. The pledge was also a response to the UNHCR #IBelong Campaign to End Statelessness by 2024 which was launched in November 2014. The Department for Refugees has also been concerned with the high numbers of stateless persons that are currently approximated at 10 Million worldwide.
Objectives of the study
The objectives of the study were threefold as follows:
- To study and analyse the legal, policy, and administrative and institutional framework impacting on access to nationality and statelessness with a view to identify gaps and obstacles.
- To identify groups of populations that may be stateless and/or undetermined nationality or at risk of statelessness and provide further details of these group; and
- To assess the causes and consequences of being stateless in Malawi and recommend measures or actions necessary to help prevent and reduce statelessness in the country.
This Report is the outcome of the study on statelessness and the risk of statelessness in Malawi. It is a product of the review of the law on citizenship; 1literature on the subject of statelessness, generally; and recent developments on citizenship in Malawi. Domestic policy and institutional framework on citizenship and statelessness have been analyzed and benchmarked with international minimum standards for the protection of stateless persons.