February 11, 2022Counter-Terrorism Citizenship
On 21 January 2022, RSI wrote to UN human rights experts to raise concerns about the UK’s existing citizenship-stripping powers and practices, and the government's plans to let the Home Secretary take people’s British citizenship away without telling them under Clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill.
We highlighted concerns that the UK may be in breach of its international legal obligations to reduce statelessness, prevent arbitrary or discriminatory deprivation of citizenship, and ensure the rights to a fair trial, effective remedy and reparation under the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
On 11 February 2022, five UN human rights experts, including specialised experts on racism and human trafficking, wrote a letter to the UK government, raising concerns that its citizenship-stripping powers and practices, and attempts to expand its power, potentially break international law.
The UN experts raised concerns about the Home Secretary’s ‘broad, vague, and subjective discretion’ to determine when to strip people of their British citizenship, which they said lacked transparency and predictability. The experts also expressed specific concerns that citizenship-stripping could disproportionately impact British Muslims and people from migrant communities, especially people of colour.
The UN experts also raised concerns about Clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill, which they said would make it more difficult for people – including potential victims of trafficking – to challenge decisions to deprive them of their British citizenship in court.
Our full letter to the UN human rights experts can be downloaded, below.
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