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Serbia: UNHCR Serbia Update, May 2019

Serbia: UNHCR Serbia Update, May 2019

2019/06/14 | 15:00

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Country: Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Iraq, Montenegro, Pakistan, Romania, Serbia, the Republic of North Macedonia, World





On 21 May, three young men from Afghanistan and one from Pakistan were found in critical condition at a parking lot near Novi Sad, after they had spent several hours in a sealed gas tank, at temperature above 60 degrees Celsius. Presumably, they tried to hide in the truck to clandestinely enter Croatia. Although they were immediately transferred to the Clinical Centre in Novi Sad, three passed away, including a 16 year old unaccompanied boy from Afghanistan. Families, friends and authorities cooperated in organizing the repatriation of their bodies to Afghanistan for burial. The fourth victim remains in critical condition in hospital.

The Asylum Office (AO) of the Ministry of Interior ruled on 10 applications for asylum, granting protection to four persons and rejecting six. Thus far in 2019, the AO recognised the protection needs of 26 asylum seekers, including five cases with LGBTI claims and one UASC, granting 12 refugee and 14 subsidiary protection status.





UNHCR legal partner Belgrade Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) published its Right to Asylum in the Republic of Serbia – Periodic Report for January–March 2019.





In May, over 1,800 asylum-seekers throughout the country benefitted from legal counselling by UNHCR and partners, 50 asylum seeker signed power of attorney to the lawyers of UNHCR legal partner, two benefitted from psychological assessments and three from Best Interest Determinations conducted under the UNHCR project upon request of the AO.

Progress was also made in the integration of recognised refugees: in addition to supporting the Regional Housing Programme, UNHCR and partners, in close coordination with the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, provided 73 adult asylum-seekers and refugees with Serbian language classes, 42 with financial and one with vocational training support, obtaining work permits for seven and private accommodation for two.

On 17 May, the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), UNHCR and partners joined three LGBTI refugees in attending the first public Pride Parade in Novi Sad.

On 29 May, an unaccompanied asylum-seeking boy, who had been assisted and portrait by UNHCR, exhibited his artwork at the Children’s Cultural Centre in Belgrade.

310 Unaccompanied and Separated Children (UASC) benefitted from guardianship under the UNHCR project. 366 were accommodated in Asylum Centres (AC) - of which 342 in Krnjača AC, 26 in specialized centres for children and 19 in NGO-run facilities. The high number of irregularly arriving and departing UASC, their vulnerability to exploitation by smugglers and other criminals, as well as their access to legal status, education, services and safe accommodation, remained of concern.

Continuing the implementation of its comprehensive action plan for the Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA), UNHCR raised awareness on PSEA in focus group discussions with residents of Sombor Reception/Transit Centre (RTC).

Multifunctional Teams of authorities, civil society and UNHCR continued using a new Communicating with Communities questionnaire to conduct participatory assessments with residents of Obrenovac, Adaševci, Šid and Principovac RTCs, as well as with privately accommodated refugee women in Belgrade. The questionnaire was also used in focus group discussions with internally displaced persons in Belgrade and Aleksandrovac.











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