Right to Asylum in the Republic of Serbia 2014

April 23, 2015

untitledThe following report is the third annual BCHR report on the situation in the field of asylum in the Republic of Serbia. It presents the information the BCHR obtained in its work with asylum seekers and on asylum issues and the data it obtained from the competent institutions, international organisations, other NGOs and the media. It focuses less on the analysis of the legal framework and institutes established under the valid regulations and more on the practices of the competent authorities.  

Of the 28,295 people, who have expressed the intention to seek asylum in Serbia since 2008 (when the Asylum Act came into force), only six of them have been granted refugee status and 12 subsidiary protection. 

A very large number of people sought asylum in Serbia in 2014 – 16,490, or three times more than in 2013. Three new provisional Asylum Centres were opened.  

The Serbian asylum procedure is still inefficient and unfair. There is no plan for the integration of people granted asylum in Serbia’s society. This is one of the reasons why many asylum seekers do not perceive Serbia as a country of refuge, but only as a country in which they will stay temporarily, until they organise their journey to one of the EU member states. On the other hand, the competent authorities have frequently voiced the view that Serbia is merely a “stopover” for the asylum seekers, thus justifying their lack of efforts to improve the asylum system and ensure a life of dignity and security for the refugees and asylum seekers.