Problems of asylum seekers in Serbia (Google Translate)

Monday, August 13th, 2012


Dr. Branislav Knežić,

Institute for Criminological and Sociological Research, Belgrade

Mr. Vojin Vidanović,

Faculty of Political Sciences, Belgrade



Since 2008. , when the Act entered into force on asylum, until today in Serbia has increased the number of registered asylum seekers. How many passes through our country, and which are not recorded and not asylum seekers, it is difficult to estimate reliably. The hard life in the countries of Asia and the Middle East and the wars in North Africa are influenced to increase the number of families who are looking for a better life “stuck” in our country.

In this paper, we try to draw the attention of professional and scientific public on asylum seekers who have crossed borders and boundaries, by various people smugglers left before our borders and that they themselves thought they were already in a EU country, and those who taught or scared that the encounter with police immediately seek asylum. A particular problem they were minors, separated from their parents, and do not know what fate awaits them. The data were collected to analyze the Commissariat for Refugees, the Center for the accommodation of juvenile foreigners without their parents or guardians and the Centre for the Protection of Asylum Seekers objective reports attempt to answer the questions: the number and origin of asylum seekers and the legal and practical realization of their rights, analysis services provided to them and opportunities to improve them.

It is known that the asylum seekers on this path of hope and uncertainty exposed to the dangers of trafficking and various forms of abuse, especially women and children, and that they need adequate support and protection. For assistance with the legislation, requires a sufficient number of personnel to provide psycho-social assistance, housing and institutional funds.


Keywords: Law on Asylum, underage asylum seekers, country of origin, reasons for seeking asylum



Global trends in migration

According to the UNHCR definition of “asylum-seeker (asylum seekers) are people who are essentially refugees, but their status has not been definitely determined.” At the national asylum systems to decide on what criteria a person designated as the national and international assistance. If the procedure provided for a person does not receive refugee status or asylum seekers, returned to their country of origin or country of previous residence. The exception to this rule are mass movements of refugees who have no individual character rather than the consequence of mass persecution, expulsion, violence and war, and especially in conditions where, for practical purposes, impossible to carry out individual interviews and perform appropriate procedures. [2]

UNHCR on 28 March 2011. published data on the movement of asylum seekers in 44 industrialized countries in the first decade of the 21th century. According to data presented in the publication of asylum trends in industrialized countries, the number of asylum seekers has declined from the level of 620 000 applications for asylum per year in 2001. to 358 000 in 2010., which is about 5% less than in 2009., the fourth lowest number of asylum seekers in the last 10 years and represents only 42% of the original rates in 2001. The data for 2010. year from one country stands out from the AP Serbian Kosovo with 8% of individual applications by nationality (28 900 entries), followed by Afghanistan (7%), China (6%), Russia, Somalia and Iran (with 5% of applications) [ 3] .

Although it may at first glance, this trend of falling number of asylum applicants to look positive reasons for optimism are few. The causes of the decline are varied and we fear that the dark figure of immigrants and nearly obscures the right balance. The causes referred to as:

  • UNHCR in its report on immigration trends pointed to a large number of asylum seekers due to traditional reasons of exile (civil and interstate wars) in the conflicts in Africa and Asia adopted in neighboring developing countries, and in this sense, reduced the number of immigration pressure on industrialized countries .
  • The increasing number of asylum seekers from the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia is a temporary character, because getting a visa-free regime, a certain number of applications azilnih essentially an abuse of this regime, which could lead to its suspension. The established mechanism of readmission effectively preventing this type of immigration.
  • Many industrialized countries have set strict conditions for asylum, facing the saturation of the labor market, increased migration of labor within the EU of new members joining, the arrival of right-wing political parties in power and increased inter-ethnic tensions with members of the Islamic community since the failure of social integration (France) or the fear of global terrorism.Potential asylum seekers have increased flows of information and the introduction of the Internet have become far more aware of these policies and are willing to cross the border illegally, staying and working in Western countries more than to apply for asylum with little chance of success. In this regard requests for asylum are only visible to the number of potential legal immigrants. Also, many illegal immigrants to voluntarily return to the previous line in order to attempt an illegal crossing again in the hope that it will not be caught. How many official numbers of asylum applicants unrealistic, the data from Spain to hand over a year about 100 000 illegal imigaranata back to Morocco.
  • In times of economic crisis the country have decided to further strengthen the protection of their borders. According to Stankovic. D. (2009) [4] : “All countries of the world is undoubtedly facing its worst crisis in the history of its development, trying in various ways and with much effort, the creation of new migration policies stop further inflow of migrants and to preserve the labor market to recruit local people … migrants during the crisis proved to be a very sensitive issue. Therefore, control of borders by the governments of some countries during the international markets and multinational companies, is now once again reaffirm to the eyes of the people – the electorate seemed to work on alleviating the crisis “

However, as a consequence of increased nejedankosti in the era of globalization is frequently pointed out the illegal immigration of young people from developing countries who illegally cross the border without papers aimed at a better life. [5] It is believed that this form of illegal immigration is a result of increased “the gap between two worlds “- the uneven pattern of development in developed and developing countries during the last half century. B. Milanovic (2007) states that, for example. BPD ratio per capita between Mexico and the United States increased from 3.5:1 1960th to 4.5:1 (taking account of money and price) between Spain and Morocco, the gap has doubled (from 2,3:1 to 4,5:1) [6] . It is precisely this point where inequality is greatest and the smallest physical distance, are of the greatest migratory pressure to, include especially the sea route between Libya and Italy, which patrols the office of the EU “Frontex”. The biggest profiteers of global inequality are precisely the traffickers who charge around 1000-1500 euros per person, and the assessment that “the annual costs Fronts hp and 40 million euros equal” transport costs “40 000 African immigrants who arrive in Italy only 2008thThe “(increase of 75% compared to 2007). [7] we see that a large number of immigrants does not survive such a journey, or ends up as a victim of trafficking men, women or decom.Problem smuggling and trafficking has ceased to be taboo and Research suggests that this type of crime very lucrative business in the world.

African immigrants who reach the legal channels of immigration is kept to a minimum the conditions on the islands of Lampedusa and Malta where often overcome and the number of local inhabitants. [8]Do not lag behind the world in such problems, the number of asylum seekers outside the Centre in Banja Koviljaca , which is almost equal to the number of local people.

Such migrations in part influenced by the situation in Serbia because it is located on the land route between the Middle East and Asian countries and the European Union, or more of the national reality, as evidenced by the sudden pressure of immigration in 2011. of which will be discussed later. An important way to reduce the immigration pressure from rich countries is an investment in the underdeveloped, partly after the successful development of the UN Decade 60’s and 70’s 20th century provided the “Millennium Development Goals. Unfortunately, preliminary reports of the UNDP in that the promised volume of aid has not been respected, and that if the trend continues, the goals of improving basic social development indicators such as poverty reduction, literacy and higher education involves especially in developing countries will be met by 2015. Due to poor living conditions and the growing economic gap and the unstable situation in certain areas of the world can be assumed that the immigration pressure on the industrialized countries of the West and Europe continue in the second decade of the 21th century.

Z akonski of stay of immigrants in Serbia

International legal acts which defined the resolution of the status of refugees are Kovencija the Status of Refugees (1951), Protocol on the Status of Refugees (1967), and Resolution 2198 of the General Assembly of the United Nations, ratified by the SFRY (Kovenc Refugee 1959th, protocol 1968th ).

The right to asylum for the first time in our legal system defines the SFRY Constitution of 1974. The Article 202, to re-appeared in the 1992 FRY Constitution Art. 66, Constitution of the Republic of Serbia in 1990. in the art. 50th The State Union of Serbia and Montenegro acceded to the protocol and Kovenciji 2,001th year, a “Charter on Human and Minority Rights and Civil Liberties” of 2003.introduced the right to asylum. The first law on asylum was adopted in 2005. and was valid until 01.04.2008. when he came into force in the Republic of Serbia Law on Asylum. Until the new law on asylum seekers in late 2007. g. there was no possibility that the person asks the asylum protection in the Republic of Serbia due to the lack of procedural regulation. Asylum applications received UNHCR’s office in Belgrade, the State has respected the right of residence of the asylum seeker but is taking care of them by the UNHCR only. In the case of a positive outcome UNHCR would find another safe country of residence and organized relocation, and in the face of a negative outcome would have to leave the territory of the Republic of Serbia.

“Asylum Act” was passed in the Republic of Serbia [9] for the purpose of harmonization of legislation of R. Serbia with the European Union, and is the first of its kind in the legal system of Serbia. Upon entry into force of the Serbian asylum undertook to take care of future asylum seekers, which was one of tašanjih conditions for Serbia to “white Schengen list”. The law is used as the basis for the development of a network of institutions dealing with asylum seekers and care about them until a final decision, because for the first time provides specific procedures and mechanisms of functioning asylum procedure in two stages. The procedure in the first instance shall the Department of Asylum MIA a second Asylum Commission (the statutory terms are 2 months for each instance). At the Commission’s decision can appeal to the Constitutional Court.

In order to respect all international standards provide a translation, establish facts about asylum seekers, as well as medical assistance and permanent and uninterrupted contact with the UNHCR and the Centre provides accommodation for asylum. During the process of asylum seekers, enjoy the right to freedom of movement and gain legal residence. In the case of negative outcomes are referred to the detention center for foreigners in Padinska scaffold for deportation and / or be subject to misdemeanor liability due illegally in the territory (in accordance with the Law on Foreigners). In addition to the Ordinance establishing the work of the Center adopted the Regulations on social assistance to persons seeking asylum (Official Gazette 44/08), medical examinations of persons seeking asylum (93/08), Regulations on the content and layout of forms and requests for asylum and documents that can be given to asylum seekers (53/08) and established a list of safe countries of origin and safe third countries (67/09) which concludes the necessary legislation.

The Government of the Republic of Serbia in 2008. and adopted a “Strategy for Combating Illegal Migration in the Republic of Serbia for the period 2009-20014,” in which the states as a reason for making the It was one of the main reasons why the nineties the then state of the FRY was ranked in the negative list of EU visa regime.

Republic of Serbia is making significant efforts in the field of combating illegal migration, with and through its territory and is one of the first in the region to establish effective institutional mechanisms to combat human trafficking. ” [10] .

The general objective of the Strategy states, “Significantly improve the effectiveness and increase efficiency in combating illegal migration, and are listed as priorities:

1) The fulfillment of the criteria for visa liberalization (White Schengen).

2) Accelerate the process of stabilization and accession of Serbia to the European Union.

3) Strengthening the security capacity and potential of the Republic of Serbia.

4) Implementation of an integrated border management.

Strategy develops a legal basis, the special protection of borders and defines in detail the obligations of all participants in this process which is important in the new circumstances, increase the number of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers.

The number, origin and characteristics of asylum seekers in Serbia


The UNHCR global report presents the summarized data for the former Yugoslavia, including Serbia, which indicate an increase in the number of asylum seekers, with a sharp rise in 2010 [11] .

Table 1: Number of asylum seekers in countries of former Yugoslavia 2006-2010

RegionFormer Yugoslavia 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 In total Change 2009-2010
Number of asylum seekers 780 1270 640 800 1240 4730 +55%

Source: UNHCR (2011) p. 15 

Number of asylum seekers in Serbia, as seen from the table that follows, is growing rapidly every year.Of 52 people, many of them were 2008th year, that number had more than five times increase in 2009, to then doubled 2010th year and would again, by almost five times in 2011. year (data for 2011. are as of 10/10/2011)

Table 2: Number of asylum seekers in Serbia 2008-2011






Number of asylum seekers





Source: Center for the Protection of and assistance to asylum seekers

To us he found a sharp increase of asylum seekers and show insufficient capacity to accept immigrants. Taking care of asylum seekers requires additional manpower and material costs that do not exist and which are trying to find.

In 2008. highest number of asylum seekers (36.54%) were from the Ivory Coast, from Georgia (21.15%), Armenia (9.61%), Ethiopia (5.77%), Nigeria, Chad and Sri Lanka, mainly from Africa and the Middle East.

            2009th structure is significantly changed with a sudden wave of asylum seekers from Afghanistan (78.18%), Sri Lanka (6.18%), Iran (5.45%) and Guinea (1.45%).

Prevailing trend in which people from Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, with some changes, continued and 2010. and 2011. year. U 2010. year 59.97% of asylum seekers accounted for Afghanis (the number of apslutnom even 313 persons), Palestinians (14.75%), Iraqis (5.37%), Pakistanis and Somalici (with 4.22%).

According to the data [12] available until 10.10.2011. again the largest number of asylum seekers are Afghans (57%, even in the absolute number of 1371 persons), Somali (16%), Pakistanis (10%), Palestinians and Libyans (at 3%), Morocco (2%), Tunisia (1 , 6%) and Algeria and Iran (with 1%).

Among the various nationalists persons who have sought asylum in the Republic of Serbia there are Turkey, Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea Tunism, Nepal, Ecuador, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Burundi, Morocco, Sudan, India, Libya, Myanmar, Liberia and Stateless Persons (entities without nationality) as well as neighbors Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and the rare but amazing citizens of the Netherlands and the Russian Federation in small numbers.

Table 3: Gender of persons seeking asylum in Serbia












From publication “Asylum in Serbia” (2011), p. 7

The structure of asylum seekers in the last three years dominated by males, between two-thirds majority and the dominance of over 90%. Adult asylum seekers in the last three years are between 71% and 96%. A minor asylum seekers will be discussed in the section. Although women are represented in a significantly lower percentage compared to men, that information about them is very important because it indicates that, in recent years, the time of uncertainty and hope for a better life and suggest the whole family. He was formerly the case that men are moving in “breaking” times and earning opportunities to ensure the arrival of the rest of the family. Few women who decide independently on immigration but are rarely characterized in the long and uncertain border crossings separated families. The most common family size that was in 2010. seeking asylum has five members.

Characteristics of asylum seekers [13] are:

  • The final destination countries in Western Europe (99%) such as Germany, France, Sweden and Belgium;
  • Identical arrival routes (Turkey – Greece – Macedonia), in 60% of the trucks coming from Turkey or combine different means of travel. Leaving the country with the help of smugglers (price is around 2 000 to 10 000 dollars);
  • 90% had left the country of origin because of the bad economic situation, while at present about 5% fear for his life and the other 5% overall uncertainty;
  • 90% of asylum seekers is no primary education or primary education. Women are particularly difficult position, they have no formal education, 60% of asylum seekers has arrived in Serbia in the same group that went to the country of origin, the other is caused due to scattering of unforeseen circumstances. Usually move in groups of 1-2 families or 5 men.;
  • 90% of asylum seekers has determined the final country of destination, has most of the necessary information on lifestyle, employment status resolution obtained through friends, relatives who lived in those countries;
  • Afghans as a particularly significant group, usually without osprave and avoid seeking asylum in Serbia, except when they are caught. Most seekers coming from Kabul and Herat. The reasons for asylum are given the fear of the Taliban, war and insecurity, an escape from the feud. However, almost all have relatives or friends in Western Europe where they are headed and a significant part of the returnees from Europe, deported on completion of previous proceedings and with years of experience (illegal) stay in Western Europe.

M cut for the reception of asylum seekers and refugees in Serbia

Commissioner for Refugees R. Serbia is a specialized organization founded in 1992. for the purposes of performing the tasks of determining refugee status, disposal and record keeping, coordination of assistance provided by other organizations, and other activities within its scope determined by the refugees. In this regard the Commissioner poslednej over two decades of working with almost 800 000 refugees and displaced persons from Croatia, Bosnia, and from the territory of Kosovo and Metohija. Although Serbia is considered one of the countries with protracted refugee situation during the last decade of regional cooperation measures to ensure the repatriation and naturalization (granting citizenship) a larger number of refugees this problem is substantially reduced, but significant problems in dealing with property issues and questions security of the refugees wishing to return to R.Hrvatsku.

Given that the international community does not address more the former Yugoslavia as a humanitarian ugroženion region, the Commissariat for Refugees, “conducted a functional transition of its activities from humanitarian to development phase of its activity, which should provide trajnja solutions for refugees, both in terms of massive and rapid return and integration in R. Serbia ” [14] . Asylum Act from 2008 does not apply to refugees who have acquired that status under the Law on Refugees. [15] In addition to continuing to work with refugees and internally displaced persons, the Commissioner, after passing the Law on Asylum and signing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the European Union 2008). and assumed obligations to prevent illegal immigration, integration returned in R. Serbia and care for asylum seekers.

The first institution for the reception of asylum seekers’ center for asylum “in Banja Koviljacawas established by the Government of the Republic of Serbia of 6 December 2008. i was under the jurisdiction of the Commissariat for Refugees of the Republic of Serbia, under the auspices of the UNHCR

Until a final decision on the application for asylum, persons seeking asylum are provided basic living conditions and the functioning of the Center is governed by the rules. [16]

Accommodation includes bed, use of sanitary facilities, heating, electricity and water, hygiene and access to dedicated premises of the Centre. The basic living conditions and include three meals a day (an extra special meal for the health of persons at risk), clothing and financial assistance under the special provisions and special principles of the asylum. Danish Refugee Council and UNHCR funded a visit to the teacher three times a week working with multilingual decom.Postoje informants, and all minors is a qualified person designated guardian of the Center for Social Work. How is 2010. and 2011.reported an increased number of asylum seekers, it showed, as already stated, that the capacity is insufficient and the Asylum Centre in Banja Koviljaca became too small, a large number of private rented accommodation of asylum seekers, which creates additional problems for the functioning of the tourist places. Decision of the Government of Serbia 02-3732/011 another object was put into operation the Asylum Centre – a former resort of the Red Cross in Bogovadja. Center for asylum in Bogovadja also part of the High Commissioner for Refugees, and has a much greater capacity. [17]

            Center for the Protection of and assistance to asylum seekers is a specialized non-governmental organization established in 2007. year by qualified persons who have undergone training “UNHCR clinic azilantno right” at the University of Belgrade. The main objective of this organization is to provide the necessary assistance to asylum seekers, refugees and displaced persons, which is due to their state of vulnerability, vulnerability, and the conditions in which the said persons are needed. The same provides free legal and psychological assistance to asylum azilasmeštenim the Centers for Asylum, “Center for the accommodation of foreign minors”, a special attention to minority groups, including women in pregnancy and persons with disabilities. It is the only professional non-governmental organization of its kind in Serbia, which has made a contribution to the National Strategy on Migration, asylum seekers represent only the Supreme Court, Administrative Court and is included in the full process of care and respect for human rights of asylum seekers in Serbia. Since 2008. g. Center trains the young generation of lawyers from the asylum matter of law, including the project “Asylum practices.” Since the beginning of 2011. The Centre implements programs and prevention of human trafficking with IOM and UNHCR. The task of a psychologist and lawyer’s information and prevention in order to detect and prevent trafficking.

The network of institutions for the reception of asylum seekers is included and the Asylum Office ofthe Serbian Interior Ministry records, registers and refers people to accommodation in Centre  and when it comes to minors, the competent CSW (Ljig Koviljača, Stari Grad and others). Commissioner for Refugees keeps a record of persons accommodated in the Centre. Financial assistance provided by UNHCR.

P rihvat underage asylum

Sensitive, vulnerable and scared category of asylum seekers are minors. At this point it is necessary to point out the problems of determining the age, because, according to staff at the Center for the accommodation of persons of foreign minors without their parents or guardians, they recorded their statements at the birth, although sometimes they are obviously older than 18 years. This fact creates additional problems for the already cramped able to accept the juvenile. In addition to special protection and rights to education, preservation of identity, family life and the like. in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, they are the people at particular risk (of abuse, human trafficking) especially minors without their parents (when migration occurs during the separation of families).

Table 4: Number of underage asylum seekers, sex and category 2008-2010




Number of underage asylum seekers












With the accompaniment








From publication “Asylum in Serbia” (2011), p. 7

Among minors to asylum seekers is also male dominated, recognizes the significant increase, especially in 2009. and doubling again in 2010. Note the significant increase in juvenile unaccompanied asylum seekers (sevenfold higher) in 2010.

In the “Decision on the network of social protection” [18] was decided on the establishment of “Center for the accommodation of persons of foreign minors without their parents or guardians,” the organizational unit of the Institute for the Protection of Children and Youth, Belgrade, the only institution in South East Europe, which in this method takes care of minor asylum seekers

The first accommodation was made 08.04.2009. when he placed first minor, originally from Iran, which is taken care of and involved in the process of status.

The center has adopted regulations on housing and operates under the same principles as other centers for asylum: first of all by providing health care services, recreational activities and meals. Specifics of the juveniles stay closed form of protection (movement outside the institution, and only accompanied by special permission), support and assistance of social workers, and the guardian of the Center for Social Work.

Capacity is 12 people, a center has 2 bedrooms, living room and bathroom. Optimal duration of stay is 2-3 weeks, the deadline to 90 days, which is used in exceptional circumstances. Youth in the center are under 24 hour presence vapitača or social workers (covering three shifts, night duty teacher). The main problems in the lack of a sufficient number of interpreters for specific services (assistance provided by the Center for Protection of asylum seekers and UNHCR) and the lack of women’s department, which should solve the renovation of the Centre. Center has provided satellite TV software that can track programs in countries of origin, which allows some form of preserving identity. A person placed on providing legal assistance (Center for the Protection of and assistance to asylum seekers) and respect the religious rights of its

Department (which is the center of the organizational unit) is funded by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, part of the budget of the municipality Stari Grad, Belgrade City. There are no special funds appropriated for the Center, but it is issued, from the Institute. Support the Center provides volunteers and interns. A particular problem is that, if deported users, the cost of his transportation to the extent borne by the Department. In this sense it is necessary to expand its human and material capacities, taking a large number of stays per user, or a relatively long period of their retention.Sanitary conditions are satisfactory and that users are provided three meals and snacks.

Upon receipt of a minor he met with the rights and obligations, determines his temporary guardian, and in the process of getting a temporary ID card.

As reasons for seeking asylum, underage asylum seekers most often cited:

  • War and religious conflicts in the country of origin
  • Fear of revenge / murder of relatives
  • Difficult living conditions

Table 5: Number of juveniles placed on Users 2009-2010

2009 2010 2011 (to 31.9)
In total 59 70 75

Source: Report of the Center for the housing of juvenile foreigners

Similar to the trend in the general population of asylum seekers, shows an increase in the number of users in the period 2009-2011. Among the countries of origin in 2009. dominated Afghanistan, Albania, and participated in both Turkey and Macedonia. U 2010. g. dominated by Afghanistan and Palestine, and took part in Albania, Morocco, Pakistan, Algeria, Somalia, Palestine, Montenegro and Bulgaria.

U 2011. g. dominate Afghanistan and Palestine, with the participation of Tunisia, Albania and Pakistan.

Average stay is between 2 days and 45 days.

Table 6: Reasons for termination of housing

Reasons for Termination


2009 2010 2011 (01.04-31.09 2011)
Centre for Asylum 31 39 10
Return to the home country 17 5
Escape 8 14 3
Other(Submitted to his father, brother) 3 9 10
In total 59 67 +3 21

Source: Report of the Center for the housing of juvenile foreigners

Among the reasons for termination of housing accommodation is dominated by the center for asylum and other options are to return to their country of origin, flight or connecting with family. As an illustrative story of a minor mention Asylum interview with the user of the Center, “Juvenile A.R (16) is originally from Afghanistan and speaks Farsi 
(“Persian” language that called Dari in Afghanistan and who is 
official language) and very basic Eng. His family consists of 
father, mother and four children (he and three sisters). As a reason for leaving 
Afghanistan, that fear for life (due to war) and the possibility 
to be recruited. He tried to immigrate traveling through Iraq 
Iran, Turkey to the Balkans, the alleged destination of Western Europe but 
The family broke up and he was left alone. journey lasted more than 2 
months and it was very hard .. He says he would like to live in Denmark. In 
center resides about five days and said that about them that is well looked after. to 
Belgrade does not have a problem. It lacks the money, Afganska culture and music. “

Concrete examples show the most reliable of all the troubles and suffering minor azilanata.Značaj individual cases known in the social sciences, especially when it comes to finding out a little atypical pojave.Reči tell what numbers and statistics can not.

The strategy to fight illegal immigration [19] points to nedovoljanost capacity to house juvenile migrants given that the housing problem of juvenile illegal immigrants caught up outside Belgrade evident, and that other centers do not have sufficient capacity to accept or work with the program juvenile aliens illegal immigrants, and stands out: the ongoing adaptation of the Institute for Children in Nis, which will have a new working unit of the same type with capacity of 10 users.

It can be concluded that since 2008. The evolving institutional network of governmental and nongovernmental organizations to accept and care for asylum seekers.   Commissioner for Refugees has strengthened the capacity, provide adequate infrastructure and the implementation of legislation in the field of asylum in accordance with international standards, provide adequate shelter and basic living conditions for asylum seekers until the final decision on the application for asylum.Accommodation Centre for asylum is made with respect to the principle of non-discrimination, family unity, gender equality and care for persons with special needs.

Although one can speak of a satisfactory treatment of asylum seekers in Serbia, according to the slowness of procedures, which often takes six months or more, largely due to delays in the first instance. The problem is the capacity prezauzetost Centers, where asylum seekers living in local communities (primarily Koviljaca Spa), and no matter what you pay for services rendered, causing the resistance of local people, which grows to the level of open hostility and demands to move the asylum center. Need to educate the local population and the greater dispersion of the centers for asylum. A large number of asylum seekers and creates a special kind of pressure on organizations that make up the network for the reception of asylum seekers and which are missing in addition to accommodation and human resources to work with so many people, especially in education and psychological support.It takes more separate funds or foreign donors and to expand capacity for the reception and care of minors unaccompanied asylum seekers. For assistance with the legislation, requires a sufficient number of personnel to provide psycho-social support and material resources. And those who are dark number, and waiting for who knows that opportunity – to a better life, near Subotica and Hungarian are a special problem for all institutions dealing with the given problem.

The word at the end

Although in our well-regulated legal status, rights and obligations of asylum procedures in practice the situation is different. The rules and practices are captured to the policy. Crossing borders and boundaries, often exhausted and years “wandering” roadless areas, asylum seekers are not rare, disoriented and not know they are stuck in Serbia on its path of hope and / or uncertainty. Their goal is not our country, as witnessed by those who receive asylum status and run better than life in an EU country or in the West.

Fragile and vulnerable in that moving into the unknown as children, in particular, separated from their parents or guardians. It is known that organized crime in illegal prebacivalju people across national borders and trafficking profitable business where the harsh laws of the market place.Children and women are often victims of such trafficking.

Our geographical position and the so-called. “Balkan route” and the general difficulty in trouble (transition, the status of Kosovo and the situation at border crossings, poverty, unemployment, widespread corruption and …) favor various forms of violence and crime. Living in poverty and insecurity, wars in Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and … led to many unfortunate to our borders.How many are really there, with those registered, in abandoned cars, in the woods and fields near the border with Hungary and Romania, it is difficult proceniti.Možda, hope that their number is reduced, lay in the Greek “high wall” on the border with Turkey ? And until then we should find out where and how much they pay their own travel, whether you are selling, blackmailed and / or someone is threatening to jeopardize the lives of their loved ones. While asylum seekers are waiting for a solution to their own fate answers to some of these questions could provide interdisciplinary research. The results will, hopefully, serve the individual, social and scientific purposes.


  • “A zil in Serbia” (2011), Centre for the Protection of and assistance to asylum seekers, Belgrade
  • “Azilantne Stories” (2011), Centre for the Protection of and assistance to asylum seekers, Belgrade Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries 2010 (2011), UNHCR, Geneva
  • Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries 2010 (2011), UNHCR, Geneva
  • Asylum Act, “RS Official Gazette” in 2008.
  • “The strategy in combating illegal migration in R. Serbia for the period 2009-2014 “(2008),Government R. Serbia, Belgrade
  • Milanovic, B. (2011): “The haves and have nots – A brief and idiosyncratic history of global inequality”, Basic Books, New York

Milanovic, B. (2007): “Two Faces of Globalization,” Archipelago, Belgrade

  • Stankovic, D. ​​(2009): “The repercussions of the global economic crisis on migration flows”,article published in the journal “Social policy and crisis”, (ed. Vukovic, D. ​​I Arandarenko M.), FPN, Belgrade
  • Stankovic, D. ​​(2011): “Immigration and integration policy between EU states and supranational policies,” an article published in the journal “Social reform – the content and results” (ed. Vukovic, D. ​​And Arandarenko. M), Faculty of Political Science, Belgrade
  • “An underage asylum seekers: the edge of dignity” (2011), a group of 484, Belgrade
  • UN High Commissioner for Refugees www.
  • Commissioner for Refugees R. Serbia www.
  • Центар за заштиту и помоћ тражилаца азила www .

Branislava Knezic, Ph D, Institute of social and crime research, Belgrade

Vojin Vidanovic, magister of political sicences, Faculty of political sciences, Belgrade



Since 2008. „Law on Asylum“ was enacted in Serbia, a constant raise in number of asylum seekers has been recorded. How many of them are transpassing Serbia and are not enlisted and are not seeking asylum is difficult to estimate. Hardship of life in countries of Asia and Middle East, as well as wars in Northern Africa have influenced the increase of families that are currently seeking for better life in Serbia.

In this paper we try to focus attention of professional and science public to a specific problem of asylum seekers that have passed many borders, who have been left at our borders by human smugglers while they have been thinking they have reached EU, often frightened and learned from contact with Police to ask for asylum, families that have separated, not knowing of their destiny. Special problems are minors separated from their parents, not knowing what destiny awaits them. Analyzed informations are collected from the Comessariat for refugees, Center for residential care of minors foreigners without parental guardianship and NGO “Asylum protection center”. Goal of the paper is to answer the question of number of origin of minors asylum seekers, legal and practical side of fulfilling their rights, analysis of services provided as well as of possibilities to enhance them.

It is well known that underage young people are exposed to risks of human traffickers, various forms of abuse on that road of hope and uncertainty, and that they need adequate assistance and protection. For such care, beside legislation, a sufficient number of psychosocial care takers is needed as well as material resources and institutional capacities.

Keywords: Law on Asylum, minors seeking asylum, countries of origin, asylum justification

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