Consultancy to develop methodology for research on risks of statelessness among the children of refugees in Europe

About the European Network on Statelessness (ENS)

ENS is a civil society alliance of organisations and individual experts committed to tackling statelessness in Europe. We currently have over 150 members in 41 countries and are the only pan-European network dedicated to working on statelessness in Europe. ENS was founded as a coordinating body and expert resource for organisations working to promote the right to a nationality. At the heart of our strategy is an understanding of the need to mainstream and raise awareness about statelessness and nationality rights, build civil society’s capacity to act, and be an effective catalyst for change. Our small but dedicated UK-based Secretariat coordinates the activities of our growing and diverse membership across Europe ranging from large international NGOs to grassroots and community organisations, legal advice agencies, research and policy thinktanks, and prominent international law experts. Our work is structured under three core pillars: awareness-raising and knowledge-sharing; law and policy development; and networking and capacity-building. For more information, see our Strategic Plan 2019-23: Solving Statelessness in Europe.

About the work

The need for further evidence to better understand the particular risks of statelessness facing children in migration-particularly the children of refugees -born in transit or in host countries in Europe, has emerged from ENS’s work with its members and partners since 2015. This has included activities under both the #StatelessKidsand #StatelessJourneysinitiatives, as well as data from our #StatelessnessINDEX, which highlight the need to better understand these particular risks. The #StatelessJourneys initiative in particular was set up in 2017to examine the relationship between statelessness and forced migration in Europe, to build links with refugees affected by statelessness, and to find out what key stakeholders involved in the refugee response in Europe were doing to address the issue. Early findings from activities undertaken under this initiative in 2017-19, point to the need to better understand how children born to refugees and others on the move may be exposed to statelessness and what law, policy and practice needs to be in place to prevent this. In 2020-24, with the support of Comic Relief, ENSwill further build on this work with its member and partners to protect the rights of stateless refugees and prevent children being born stateless in Europe. We will evidence the issues; build the capacity of refugees, civil society, and relevant authorities; run a campaign to mobilise and inspire action; and use this increased visibility to achieve concrete legal and policy solutions. The research that this consultancy will build the foundations for, will be key to evidencing campaign asks and advocacy for law and policy reform under this project.

Aims of the consultancy

Evidence from our #StatelessKids campaign research, #StatelessJourneysscoping research and the #StatelessnessINDEXhave highlighted barriers to birth registration in particular, as well as gaps in nationality laws and problems with how legal safeguards to prevent childhood statelessness are operationalised in practice, including in relation to what information is identified and recorded at birth registration. However, there is a need for more evidence to understand the specific risks this poses to the children of refugees and migrants in (and in transit to) Europe, and how to address them. To begin to address this gap and inform evidence-based advocacy and campaigning, we are seeking a consultant to carry out a scoping review and develop the methodology for further research by ENSon this issue. The aim is to produce a framework for ENS to work with its members in 2020-21to gather evidence from different national contexts to inform its campaigning and legal and policy development to improve birth registration practices and help prevent statelessness among refugee children in Europe.

The aims of the consultancy are therefore to:

  • Understand what research/evidence exists of risks of statelessness among refugee children in Europe
  • Understand who holds knowledge, information and power to effect change on this issue
  • Produce a framework and methodology for research to be carried out by ENS with its members to fill evidence gaps, communicate more clearly on the issue, and develop concrete and measurable policy and legal solutions

For more information, see:

Deadline for application: Monday 1 June 2020 at 12:00 BST.