ProAsyl has published a report that compiles information on the human rights situation in Serbia showing that it does not meet the conditions to be considered a safe third country of origin.

The research shows that the Roma, who make up for the highest number of Serbian asylum seekers presenting their claims in Germany, live in Serbia in a situation of extreme marginalisation. According to ProAsyl, police violence, forced evictions, restricted access to public services such as education or healthcare and to the labour market prevent the Roma from effectively exercising their rights.

The study is a reaction to Germany’s envisaged policy to classify Serbia as a safe third country, meaning that asylum applications by Serbian nationals would be regarded as manifestly unfounded and Serbian asylum seekers would need to provide very strong evidence of persecution in their individual case. ProAsyl maintains it is unrealistic to provide the level of information required given the short deadlines of the procedure. Furthermore, according to ProAsyl the report is also a response to the pressure the EU is putting on Serbia to exercise stricter border control in order to reduce the number of potential asylum seekers applying for protection in the EU, in exchange of visa liberalisation. 

The report is an evaluation of the information contained in sources such as UN agencies, Council of Europe bodies, the European Commission, local and international NGOs and media. It documents violations of civil rights such as freedom of expression and association, racist violence, corruption, discrimination against ethnic minorities, women, disabled persons and sexual minorities and non-implementation of the legislation in place for the protection of fundamental rights.



This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 19 April 2013
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