A recent case in South Africa highlights how being statelessness puts a person at increased risk of immigration detention – over and over again.

Following the earlier release of their report on statelessness in South Africa,  IDC members Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) were this week back in the court room to compel the South African Minister for Home Affairs to decide on the status of a young stateless man represented by LHR.  An application for status resolution was first made five years ago.

The media reports that the Minister has been given a five day period to make a decision on the case, or will be in contempt of court and could face prison.

The experience of the young stateless man at the centre of the case highlights the constant fear of harassment and detention faced by stateless persons – an experience unfortunately not unique to stateless persons in South Africa.

In May this year the Forced Migration Review ran an edition on statelessness, where the connection in Europe between rights abuses and being statelessness were highlighted – with issues from destitution to detention highlighted.

A more in depth exploration of the connection was published by IDC members Equal Rights Trust, with their report ‘Unravelling Anomaly: Detention, discrimination and the protection needs of stateless persons’.

IDC will continue to work with our members globally and other key stakeholders such as UNHCR, OHCHR and governments to prevent the unnecessary immigration detention of stateless persons.