Nando Sigona Interviewed by Voice of Russia on Children at Risk of Statelessness in UK

06 November, 2012

Dr Nando Sigona of the Refugee Studies Centre was interviewed by Voice of Russia on the plight of children living in the United Kingdom with no formal documentation, saying "tens of thousands" of them could effectively be stateless.

The interview was based on research led by Dr Sigona over two years, which estimated that some 120,000 children were living in the UK without legal immigration status.

Dr Sigona told Voice of Russia's Tim Ecott that while those who entered the country with their parents as "illegal immigrants" may retain citizenship of their countries of origin, those who are born to parents without migration status in the UK may never be registered. They could thus be unable to apply for citizenship either in the UK or in their parents' countries of origin. He estimated that around half of the 120,000 children may potentially fall into this category. Such children are "basically in legal limbo", Dr Sigona said.

He said children of parents who had come to the UK fleeing persecution in their countries of origin were at particular risk of statelessness.

The interview follows a mention of Dr Sigona’s work in a BBC report (Inside & Out) on stateless children in the UK, published and broadcast on November 5, entitled 'Children with "No State" in UK'.

The research led by Dr Sigona is published in the report, "No Way Out, No Way In: Irregular Migrant Children and Families in the UK". The research team interviewed 53 irregular migrant families from Jamaica, Afghanistan, China, Brazil, Nigeria and ethnic Kurds, reaching in total over 100 minors.