UNHCR’s Representation for the Nordic and Baltic Countries has submitted its observations on the proposed amendments to the Finnish Citizenship Act.
UNHCR supports the law proposal and welcomes that several of the observations submitted by UNHCR to the preliminary investigation into the review of the Citizenship Act in August 2020 have been incorporated. This includes the elimination of gender-based discrimination, such as situations where a child has two mothers. Moreover, statelessness would no longer be divided in two categories – voluntarily and involuntarily statelessness – but rather only one definition is incorporated in law.
UNHCR also welcomes the proposed flexibility and strengthening of the access to citizenship procedures for applicants, who lack comprehensive identity documentation, which may have been lost during travel or is impossible for the applicant to obtain otherwise.
However, UNHCR also submits some recommendations to Finland, including to develop the current citizenship status procedure into a dedicated statelessness determination procedure to better identify and protect stateless persons in Finland.
UNHCR’s observations are available here.