A new report by the European Network on Statelessness shows that those who have already obtained Italian citizenship could risk becoming stateless due to the controversial measures contained in the country's newly enacted security decree.
Civil society organizations in Italy are concerned about those who have obtained Italian citizenship and may now risk becoming stateless as a result of controversial measures contained in the country's newly enacted security decree, also known as the Salvini decree.
The new report
on the Statelessness Index, edited by the Italian Council for Refugees (CIR) and the European Network on Statelessness (ENS), contains an in-depth analysis of the Italian legislation, policies, and practices.
Risks due to security decree
In a statement, CIR said the Statelessness Index is an online tool that assesses European countries' laws and measures to reduce the risk of statelessness and protect stateless persons. It compares procedures with laws and international best practices. The report said the security decree enacted in Italy contains clauses on revocation of citizenship that are not in line with the 1961 UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, which Italy acceded to in 2015, and the clauses expose people to the risk of statelessness.
"The new Italian law on migration doesn't introduce anything positive regarding statelessness, but rather increases the time for obtaining citizenship to four years. This measure will have a direct impact on stateless people, who will remain blocked in limbo for years," said Daniela di Rado, a co-author of the study and a legal expert for CIR. "Instead of making progress towards uprooting statelessness, we are taking steps backwards from our commitment to protect the fundamental rights of stateless people," she said.
Italy has regulatory deficiencies on statelessness
The Statelessness Index highlights how deficiencies in Italian regulations and policies result in a lack of guaranteed protection for stateless people who live in the country and a lack of preventing or reducing statelessness, including among children. In Italy, there are between 3,000 and 15,000 people belonging to the Rom community who are still at risk for statelessness, and too little has been done to reduce to risk of statelessness among children and to ensure respect for their rights, the report said.
"No child should grow up stateless," said Nina Murray, a co-author of the study and head of policy and research at ENS. "For a child, the impossibility of proving nationality can have enormous consequences starting from the day of birth. Subsequently, in his or her life, the child could face legal obstacles to having a school certificate, a job, opening a bank account, or getting married," Murray said. "Italy urgently needs to conform to its international commitments and do more to prevent statelessness and ensure every child the right to a nationality," she said.