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UNHCR Serbia Update, June 2019

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Serbia
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SERBIA UPDATE

  • Two Afghan nationals were stabbed to death in Belgrade on 05 and 06 June respectively, allegedly by fellow Afghan men. One victim was a 20-year-old man, and the second one a 17 year old unaccompanied or separated child (UASC). While the investigation of both killings is ongoing, the police established 24/7 presence inside the Krnjača Asylum Centre (AC), which houses most UASC in Serbia. UNHCR partner Belgrade Center for Human Rights (BCHR), issued a Press Statement calling on authorities to address shortcomings in child protection.

  • The Asylum Office (AO) of the Ministry of Interior ruled on three applications for asylum, granting protection to one person and rejecting two. Thus far in 2019, the AO recognised the protection needs of 27 asylum seekers, including five cases with LGBTI claims and one UASC, granting 13 refugee and 14 subsidiary protection status.

  • In June, over 1,250 asylum-seekers throughout the country benefitted from legal counselling by UNHCR and partners, five asylum-seekers signed power of attorney to the lawyers of UNHCR legal partner and one benefitted from psychological assessment.

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 71 adult asylum-seekers and refugees with Serbian language classes, 42 with financial and one with vocational training support and obtained work permits for two.

  • Authorities, UNHCR and partners marked World Refugee Day: At noon of 20 June (ex-) refugees received their keys to 270 new apartments constructed under the Regional Housing Project (RHP) in Kamendin,
    Belgrade. In the evening UNHCR welcomed refugees and their friends in government and authorities, partners, donors, members of the diplomatic corps and other stakeholders to a concert of MAP, moderated by a refugee from Burundi and a refugee from Croatia. A screen running 5,5min localized HQ clips and Serbia refugee-related developments was displayed at a central Belgrade square 19-22 June. The materials were aired by12 TV stations. Partners BCHR, DRC and Indigo organised separate events that succeeded in bringing refugees together with the local population of Belgrade and Vranje.

  • Two stories on successful education of UASC were published: a secondary design school student (see: https://bit.ly/30ptRp8) and two UASC who learned Serbian so well that they took the final exams (see: https://bit.ly/2Sej6TR).

  • UNHCR and its partner CRPC conducted a participatory assessment with women asylum-seekers staying in private accommodation in Belgrade, and together with the OSCE mission three focus groups discussions with beneficiaries of the RHP in Smederevo, Paraćin and Šid.

  • Acting upon a complaint lodged by UNHCR partner Praxis, the Serbian Commissioner for Protection of Equality, established that the Administration of Bujanovac Municipality and the Ministry of Justice, Science and Technological Development had violated, within their respective purviews, relevant articles of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination because they failed to implement appropriate and effective measures to prevent and eliminate the formation of Roma-only classes in a Primary School in Bujanovac.