Support to Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the Republic of Serbia

March 6, 2019

Donor: UNHCR Office in Serbia

Duration: January 2019 – December 2019

Building on the successful cooperation with the UNHCR to date, the Belgrade Center for Human Rights (BCHR) will continue with provision of free legal aid to asylum seekers and refugees in the Republic of Serbia in 2019.

Recognizing the need for additional protection of unaccompanied and separated children and the need to continue to provide support to the system in this regard, BCHR introduced a new position of a Child Protection Officer within the legal team. The Child Protection Officer, specializing in the rights of children, will provide child friendly legal counselling and adequate support to unaccompanied and separated children undergoing the asylum procedure in accordance with international standards.

Belgrade Centre for Human Rights will continue to cooperate with national authorities aiming to enhance their capacities in the field of international refugee law, protection of vulnerable groups in the asylum procedure, etc. In cooperation with the Serbian Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, the BCHR field team will continue to conduct regular visits to asylum and receptions centres in order to provide free legal counselling. BCHR will advocate for changes and improvements in the conduct of Serbian authorities regarding the access to the asylum procedure, efficiency of the asylum procedure as well as better integration system for person granted asylum.

In addition to providing legal representation before Serbian authorities, BCHR will strategically litigate cases to international institutions including European Court of Human Rights and UN Human Rights mechanisms in an effort to push for system solutions.

Further to the provision of free legal aid, the BCHR will undertake efforts to raise awareness of citizens and stakeholders on the topics of rights of refugees, international human rights standards, violations of human rights as well as advocate for adequate solutions to the systemic flaws. Analyses of decisions made by authorities in the asylum procedure and integration process will be used for research and monitoring of the respect of human rights standards, to which the Republic of Serbia has committed. BCHR will prepare legal analyses and reports on right to asylum in the Republic of Serbia that will be available at

Starting this year, the integration programme of the BCHR will be enriched with project activities focused on youth refugee population. During joint workshops, refugee youth and the local youth population will work together on creation of an animated film. The main aim of the youth component of the project and joint activities of the local and refugee youth population is to break the stereotypes within younger generations, support dialogue between cultures, encourage youth to actively participate in the society, and to develop their talents and acquire additional skills.

Regional cooperation with civil society working in the field of asylum and migration will be further improved through the Balkan Refugee and Migration Council.