Children at Risk of Statelessness in the Fight against Terrorism

The departure of ‘foreign fighters’ to join terrorist groups in armed conflicts abroad has led many countries to adopt a policy of citizenship deprivation. This paper demonstrates that citizenship deprivation measures do not have the desired effect for national security, while increasing the risk of statelessness for the children of ‘foreign fighters’. Citizenship deprivation laws in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands and the UK and the Netherlands are discussed, in order to view them against international obligations. It concludes that current citizenship deprivation measures are mostly problematic regarding the prohibition of arbitrary citizenship deprivation, the principle of non-discrimination and relevant children’s rights.

Lavinia Spieß and Louise Pyne-Jones, Children at Risk of Statelessness in the Fight against Terrorism, Statelessness & Citizenship Review, 2022.