Greater reduction of statelessness


Despite positive changes in legislation and built capacities of authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, some gaps remain both in law and practice. The Office will advocate for change to address systemic problems in law and practice. While most of the registered people at risk of statelessness will have been assisted by 2017, some 100 people will be assisted in acquiring or confirming nationality during 2017, where free legal aid is not available at local level. The Office will monitor and further build capacity of the authorities to identify people of concern and fully ensure free legal aid by municipal offices where available.

In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, some 200 proceedings for regulating legal residence and naturalization as the citizens of fYR of Macedonia will be initiated in 2017. With additional funds, Macedonian Young Lawyers’ Association will support 100 additional proceedings for regulating legal residence and naturalization. In 2017, UNHCR will lobby with authorities to exempt long term habitual residents from requirement of some documents from their country of origin. Bilateral meetings with Serbia/Kosovo (S/RES/1244(1999)) will be facilitated to enhance cross-border cooperation. The Macedonian Young Lawyers’ Association will continue to obtain necessary documents from the country of origin in administrative proceedings on confirmation of nationality.

In Montenegro, UNHCR will focus on providing free legal assistance for confirmation of nationality to some 150 people registered to be at risk of statelessness. In parallel, the NGO partner’s delivery will be improved and operational costs decreased. UNHCR and Ministry of Interior will implement activities agreed as a result of the analysis of the 2014 public call to stateless people.

In Serbia, UNHCR hopes to be able to hand over ownership of issues related to in situ stateless population to the Government.