The Right to Legal Status: Matters of Citizenship, Asylum and Migration

Articles 6 and 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 25 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Article 1 of the Seventh Protocol to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

The universal principle of international human rights stipulates that each and every individual, regardless of their domicile, has the right to be treated as a subject of law: to have a certain status granted to them in the State and a set of rights and obligations appropriate to such status, as well as corresponding identity documents.

There are certain guarantees of human rights to be provided to each and every individual regardless of their status (such as the right to life, for example); the set of other rights and obligations of an individual may differ, depending on their status – whether the person is a citizen or permanent resident of the country, or a refugee, or short-term visitor. It is essential, however, to ensure that a certain system is put in place in the State for legalization and granting of status to individuals, and to ensure that it operates without any discrimination, in compliance with the national and international legal norms. All institutions are bound to observe the norms of human rights when handling the matters related to the status of individuals: to ensure human treatment, and to take into account the rights of individuals, for example, to family life, liberty and security, to the extent prescribed by law.