European Network on Statelessness: Protecting Stateless Persons from Arbitrary Detention

Thursday 10 November 2016, 12:00am - 2:15pm

Garden Court Chambers

Date: Thursday 10 November 2016
Time: 12:00am - 2:15pm
Venue: Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ  

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To mark the launch of our new report "Protecting Stateless Persons from Arbitrary Detention in the UK", we are organizing a lunchtime seminar, hosted at Garden Court Chambers on Thursday 10 November (12-2pm). This will include an opening presentation on key findings from the report followed by a panel discussion and interactive discussion with participants. The event will conclude with lunch and the opportunity for further networking. Speakers include:

  • Katia Bianchini (ENS researcher and report author)
  • Adrian Berry (Barrister at Garden Court)
  • Nick Hardwick (Professor of Criminal Justice at Royal Holloway, University of London)
  • Gonzalo Vargas Llosa (UNHCR representative to the UK)
  • Chris Nash (European Network on Statelessness)
  • Pierre Makhlouf (Bail for Immigration Detainees)

To better protect stateless persons from arbitrary detention, the phenomenon and the problems associated with it need to be better understood. Different stakeholders must unite to identify and share good practices so that these challenges can be addressed.

This seminar is intended to help facilitate such a discussion in the UK, and is aimed at all those who come into contact with immigration detainees – including lawyers, academics, NGOs, detainee visitor groups/volunteers as well as interested representatives from government and statutory and/or other mandated organisations.


The increasing use of immigration detention and the criminalization of irregular migrants is a disturbing domestic and global trend. Stateless persons – individuals who lack a nationality – find themselves at particular risk of being arbitrarily detained. Indeed, in a foreword for a recent ENS report, François Crépeau, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, highlighted that:

 “The immigration detention of stateless persons is one of the silent tragedies of our globalised world that plays out behind closed doors, away from the gaze of the media, but with significant, irreparable human cost”.

ENS is undertaking a three-year project to map and research this phenomenon, to create advocacy tools and to train lawyers and NGOs to protect stateless persons from arbitrary detention. Project outputs to date include a series of country reports and a regional toolkit for practitioners - available on the ENS website. In November we will publish three new country reports on the UK, Ukraine and Bulgaria.

ENS is grateful to the Oak Foundation for its generous support of the project “Protecting Stateless Persons from Arbitrary Detention” and Garden Court Chambers for hosting this event. ENS also wishes to acknowledge the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion as an expert partner for this project. Special thanks and acknowledgment are also owed to UNHCR and the Sigrid Rausing Trust for their core support of ENS's work. 
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