08 July 2016
The naturalisation of refugees and stateless persons in Hungary
Hungary, as many other states, has the obligation under international law to facilitate the naturalisation of refugees and stateless persons. But what does this mean in practice? Is nationality and naturalisation still a reserved domain of state sovereignty? Does the European Court of Human Rights say anything about naturalisation? Or EU law? How can we “measure” whether a state lives up to its obligation to facilitate the naturalisation of refugees and stateless persons?
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee addressed all these – so far basically unresearched – questions in a pioneering study, which is based on the careful analysis of the legal framework, statistics and case studies. The report concludes that Hungary is far from sufficiently fulfilling its obligations, especially as refugees and stateless persons have actually a much lower chance to successfully naturalise than other long-term foreign residents. Beyond its immediate research objective, the study wishes to provide inspiration and a methodological tool to practitioners and academics in other areas of the world to conduct similar research initiatives, thus contributing to global awareness-raising about this important, yet until now fairly overlooked topic, which has a crucial impact on the integration, private life and social identity of refugees and stateless persons.
The report can be downloaded here.