Serbia adopts new Law on foreigners

4 May 2018 / Detention / Serbia / Statelessness determination and status

In March 2018, Serbia adopted its new Law on Foreigners, which will come into force in October. The new Law introduces some provisions that could improve the situation of undocumented and stateless people in the country. Firstly, it introduces the possibility of postponing the removal from Serbia of individuals whose identity cannot be determined through no fault of their own due to lack of identity documents. If removal is postponed, a temporary ID card may be issued entitling the holder to urgent medical assistance and access to primary education for minors. The new law also allows people whose removal has been postponed for at least a year to register for temporary stay on humanitarian grounds, irrespective of whether they meet the conditions otherwise required for temporary residence.

However, undermining this positive change, is the worrying introduction of a presumption that someone is obstructing return or removal if their identity can’t be determined or they don’t have a travel document. Moreover, this obstruction is grounds for prolonging detention. The application of these provisions would effectively undo the positive changes on postponement of removal and granting of temporary stay on humanitarian grounds.

One further positive change under the new law is the introduction of a requirement that less coercive measures are considered prior to making a decision to detain. Detention may now only be ordered if it is not possible to effectively apply alternatives.

Share this

Other news

LUNCHTIME RECEPTION: Addressing statelessness in Europe - 10 Oct (1-2pm); Council of Europe, Strasbourg

Join the European Network on Statelessness on 10 October for a lunchtime presentation of its...
5 Sep 2018 / Council of Europe / Detention / European Union / International and Regional Instruments / Prevention and reduction / Statelessness determination and status / Statelessness population data
Photo by Robert Hickerson on Unsplash

Changes to the law on judicial procedures in Ukraine extend the time limit on immigration detention

On 15 December 2017, new legislation on judicial procedures came into force in Ukraine with impact...
3 Apr 2018 / Detention / Ukraine

Stateless child in UK denied leave to remain

The UK Court of Appeal issued a decision establishing that someone who cannot immediately be...
19 Mar 2018 / Prevention and reduction / Statelessness determination and status / United Kingdom

Project funded by: