Social & Economic rights

Thursday, 29 December 2016

In New Year without Citizenship, ID Card, Pension, Social Welfare

Over the past few months, Praxis has been addressed by an increasing number of citizens facing the problems when trying to obtain ID card, due to the lack of the Serbian citizenship. Specifically, those people were born in one of the countries of the region and possessed permanent ID cards and were not aware that they were not registered in the citizenship registries. They now have to obtain new ID cards, biometric ID cards, until 2016.  In addition to people from Croatia, BiH, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovenia, a few persons born in Bulgaria and Romania also addressed Praxis.

Those are mainly old people born in twenties and thirties of the last century, who have no one in their place of birth who could help them obtain documents that would be used as evidence in the procedure for admission into citizenship of Serbia which they are forced to initiate. These persons are often helpless, ill, bed-ridden, blind or alone, and it is almost impossible for them to go to the court to have their power of attorney verified or to go the police station to submit the request for admission into citizenship. 

Even though the officials of Police Departments which Praxis cooperates with go out in the field in order to take a request for the admission into citizenship from the most vulnerable persons, it is very difficult to deal with the current situation, according to them. Specifically, the problems these people mostly face are the inability to verify the power of attorney and the lack of finance needed for the payment of fee for the admission into citizenship (almost 18,000 RSD). In that regard, it often happens that some Police Departments address Praxis in order to help socially most vulnerable citizens to obtain necessary documents. However, it is evident that a lot of people are in this situation and do not know who to address for assistance, or they do not know that they have to obtain new ID cards and think that they are permanent and still valid. 

Also, it often happens that documents obtained by Praxis through other countries contain mistakes such as the lack of the note on the conclusion of marriage and change of surname, error in the date of birth compared to the one registered in the valid ID card, error in regard to the name and surname, or place of birth. Then, unless necessary corrections are made, these persons have no possibility to initiate the procedure for the admission into citizenship. On the other hand, the correction procedure in some countries, such as Macedonia, is very complicated, almost impossible, as the competent bodies require a large number of additional documents and various certificates, even though these persons often do not possess any old document. 

Given the length of the correction procedure and the procedure fo admission into the citizenship (from 6-12 months), it is certain that these persons will not possess valid ID card for a longer period of time. Without a valid identification document, they will not be able to exercise many of their basic rights, such as health protection. Also, there is a risk that cash social assistance will be abolished, as well as the possibility to receive pension they previously exercised the right to.

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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action