Many Roma, especially outside the EU, are much more likely than others not to have identity documents, and/or to be at risk of statelessness. This reinforces vicious racist stereotypes of Roma, and is perpetuated by authorities who refuse to register the births of Romani children. The impacts are staggering: Roma without a legal identity often cannot vote, attend school, secure healthcare, travel, or be sure whether or how they will be buried after they die. In European societies (like all societies), where child-rearing still disproportionately falls on women, this creates extra burdens on Romani women, who cannot send their children to school or secure other services for them and/or themselves. UNHCR’s ten-year campaign (running until 2024) to eliminate statelessness globally provides an opportunity to secure broader support to end this problem.
We support litigation that requires authorities to register the birth of all Romani children born on their territory and to issue identity documents to Roma, including documents confirming nationality.