Social & Economic rights

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Updated Statelessness Index Country Profile on Serbia

 

An updated and expanded country profile on Serbia as part of the Statelessness Index has been launched today. The Serbia page now includes up-to-date data on new categories like withdrawal of nationality, reduction of statelessness, and bilateral return and readmission agreements, as well as a shorter country briefing in English and Serbian, which outline recommendations for the Government on how to improve the treatment of stateless people and to prevent and reduce statelessness (also attached to this email).

The Index country profile on Serbia provides analysis for over 25 different categories. Law, policy and practice under each of these categories are assessed against international norms and good practice and marked with a clear and easy to understand assessment key. 

MAIN 2019 INDEX UPDATES

Serbia saw some positive legislative developments in 2018, but the update also highlights some continuing concerns with implementation in practice. 

In March 2018, Serbia adopted a new Law on Foreigners, which established a definition of a stateless person and introduces provisions on detention and return procedures that could improve the situation of some stateless people. Detention may now only be ordered after considering less coercive measures; removal can be postponed and access to basic rights granted if someone’s identity can’t be determined (through no fault of their own); and temporary residence can be granted on humanitarian grounds if removal is postponed for over a year. As a result, the assessment of Serbia’s performance in the Detention theme has slightly improved. 

However, there is also a provision in the new law that presumes that if someone can’t establish their identity or doesn’t have a travel document, they are obstructing removal, which undermines some of these positive changes. The Index update also shows that work remains to be done to bring Serbian law, policy and practice on the protection of stateless people and prevention and reduction of statelessness in line with international standards: Serbia still has no statelessness determination procedure; bylaws requiring parents to be documented to register births remain in force; and safeguards to prevent children being born stateless in the country are undermined by implementation gaps. 

ABOUT THE STATELESSNESS INDEX

The Statelessness Index is an online tool that assesses how countries in Europe protect stateless people and what they are doing to prevent and reduce statelessness. It is the first to provide comprehensive and accessible comparative analysis for 18 countries in Europe, including Serbia. It allows users to quickly understand which areas of law, policy and practice can be improved by states.

The Index was developed by the European Network on Statelessness (ENS), in partnership with Praxis. It is an invaluable tool for sharing good practice and raising awareness of issues that affect stateless people. 

We look forward to working with key stakeholders to facilitate the change needed to improve the lives of stateless men, women and children living in Serbia. 

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Praxis means action
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