Norway is party to the major international and regional treaties related to statelessness. However, it is yet to incorporate key international provisions in its nationality law. The Norwegian Nationality Act does not contain any express guarantee under which persons born in Norway who would otherwise be stateless can obtain Norwegian nationality. In 2016, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security issued an Instruction to the immigration authorities to interpret the Nationality Act in line with the relevant international standards, allowing stateless persons born in Norway to acquire Norwegian citizenship through application. Despite this positive development, without legislative change, there is a risk that this action may not be sustainable. In addition, the Nationality Act does not provide for births taking place aboard a Norwegian aircraft and – to some extent – ships, to be deemed to be in Norwegian territory.
The quality of data on stateless persons collected by the Norwegian government can be improved. In the absence of a statelessness determination procedure, different government agencies can register (or not) a person as stateless. This process creates multiple databases without harmonized data making it difficult for the government to extract reliable information.
1. Promoting law reform, and its implementation, to ensure safeguards in nationality laws to prevent statelessness among children.
Goal 1: To amend Norway’s national legislation to provide for the automatic grant of Norwegian nationality at birth to persons born in the territory who would otherwise be stateless.
Goal 2: To amend Norway’s national legislation to guarantee that children born on Norwegian ships or aircrafts recognized as having been born on the territory of Norway.
2. Improving statistical data on statelessness; adopt and/or strengthen measures to register and record stateless persons in Norway
Goal 1: Harmonization of the registration process of stateless persons within all responsible government bodies.
Goal 2: Improving the reliability of data on the stateless population to create better understanding on its size and profile.
Goal 3: Mapping by Statistics Norway of all children born in the country during the last ten years that have not obtained nationality at the time of birth.