26 Mar 2019 / Detention / International and Regional Instruments / Prevention and reduction / Serbia / Statelessness determination and status / Statelessness population data

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 came into force in October. The new law establishes 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.

Other new information added includes updated population data, a link to the new Law on Free Legal Aid, and information on law, policy and practice relating to the withdrawal of nationality, where Serbian legislation is assessed positively overall against international norms.

Download the country briefings:


Share this

Other news

Children of French fighters blocked in Syria and Iraq at risk of statelessness

Children born to foreign fighters with French nationality in Iraq and Syria are at risk of...
9 Sep 2019 / France / Prevention and reduction

Des enfants de combattants français de Daesh bloqués en Syrie et en Irak exposés au risque d’apatridie

Les enfants nés de combattants étrangers de nationalité française en Irak et en Syrie risquent l...
9 Sep 2019 / France / Prevention and reduction

New data published on statelessness in France

The French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) has published its...
4 Sep 2019 / France / Statelessness population data

Project funded by: