We seek to advance the right to nationality for all by addressing the root causes of statelessness and the harms inflicted by denial and deprivation of citizenship.
Political participation, personal security, and social and economic opportunities increasingly hinge on the ability to prove citizenship or other forms of legal status.
The extraordinary power to denationalize and expel citizens is also expanding in many parts of the world and instances of mass deprivation of nationality are on the rise. We work to constrain contemporary threats to the security of citizenship and to eliminate structural barriers that perpetuate hidden modes of exclusion and abuse.
We use litigation, advocacy, and research to combat arbitrary deprivation of nationality, secure equal access to citizenship, and reform flawed citizenship and identity documentation regimes. We partner with communities at a local level in legal empowerment initiatives designed to break down administrative barriers linked to historical patterns of discrimination against minorities and other vulnerable groups. We have played a leading role in mobilizing international efforts to eliminate statelessness, which deprives over 15 million people of access to economic and political rights.
A New Report Warns of Looming Threat to U.S. Citizenship, Calls for Moratorium on Denaturalizations
A new Open Society Justice Initiative report warns of a looming threat to U.S. citizenship due to the Trump administration’s effective renunciation of longstanding norms and constitutional protections.
Open Society Justice Initiative Joins Statement of Concern on Assam Registration Crisis
Over 100 international and national civil society groups have signed a joint-letter calling for an international response to a India's troubled review of its National Register of Citizens in Assam.
A Community-Based Practitioner’s Guide: Documenting Citizenship and Other Forms of Legal Identity
This guide provides instructions on how to establish a community-based paralegal program to help people document citizenship and other forms of legal identity.
Pham (previously B2) v. Home Secretary
The UK stripped Pham Minh Quang of his citizenship, claiming he was still a Vietnamese citizen and so not stateless. He appealed to the Supreme Court, but his appeal was rejected.
Home Secretary v. Al-Jedda
The UK government stripped Al-Jedda of his citizenship, arguing he could re-apply for Iraqi citizenship and was not stateless. The UK Supreme Court found that indeed he was left stateless.
Zhao v. Netherlands
This complaint before the UN Human Rights Committee focuses on statelessness in the Netherlands.
Unmaking Americans: Insecure Citizenship in the United States
This report argues that three techniques are currently being used by the U.S. government to attack the identity and sense of belonging of U.S. citizens.
Unmaking Americans: Insecure Citizenship in the United States—Fact Sheet
This fact sheet outlines how existing gaps in citizenship protections increase the vulnerability of citizens because of their race, national origin, religion, political opinion or a combination of factors.
How Weaponizing Citizenship Hurts the Justice System
No one should have their citizenship revoked as a form of punishment. It’s wrong—and it undermines the rule of law.
- Access to Justice
- Economic Justice
- International Justice
- Criminal Justice
- Civic Space
- Discrimination and Equality
- Rule of Law
- National Security and Counterterrorism