Thursday, 11 October 2007

Focus Group Met with the Officials from the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia




As part of its activities within the Focus Group on IDP Documentation, UNHCR, Praxis and Balkan Centre for Migrations met with the representatives of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) of the Republic of Serbia on 11th October 2007. The aim of the meeting was to introduce the representatives of the Ministry with the initiative of the Focus Group to ease access to personal documents for internally displaced persons in Serbia. Focus Group presented its activities related to drafting of legislative amendments in order to achieve systemic changes in the field of IDPs access to documentation. Praxis had previously prepared a handout illustrating everyday problems IDPs face in obtaining documents, and shared it with the representatives of the Ministry. The Group also announced the organization of the Round Table on Subsequent Registration that is due to take place in early December. Project on Automation of Dislocated Registry Offices, funded by the Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migrations of the US Department of State, which is being undertaken in the municipalities of Kragujevac and Krusevac (administering the dislocated registry books from Kosovo), was also presented to the Ministry. There are plans to implement the same project in the Municipality of Kraljevo next year.

Ms Zorica Kasalica-Loncar, Head of the Administrative Department of MoI, expressed satisfaction with the cooperation between the Administrative Department and UNHCR. Ms Kasalica-Loncar also praised the Project on Automation of Dislocated Registry Books, which significantly reduced the backlog and eased the process of obtaining documents from the two dislocated registry offices. She also showed great interest in the work of the Focus Group. As she stated, the Ministry has a clear interest in providing documents to all citizens of the Republic of Serbia, but she emphasized the need for raising awareness among vulnerable categories, especially Roma population, on importance of possessing personal documents. Ms Kasalica-Loncar informed the participants on the new Law on Temporary and Permanent Residence, which is currently being drafted, and expressed interest in receiving suggestions of the Group. In addition, the Ministry of Interior accepted to participate at the aforementioned Round Table on Subsequent Registration.




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