Belgrade, January 28 – At the end of 2018, an unaccompanied minor girl from an African country received asylum in Serbia – this was the first instance of asylum being granted to an unaccompanied minor in our country.
We are talking about a young girl who found herself in Serbia more than half a year ago, who was a victim of human trafficking and who APC represented through the entire process of seeking asylum.
She was deceived, with the promise that she will have the opportunity to finish schooling, was taken from her homeland to one of our neighbouring countries she was violently involved in a prostitution ring.
Although she managed to seek protection, she was illegally pushed into Serbia, where she had never entered or stayed before.
Responsible institutions in Serbia reacted quickly in this case.
It’s been a little over than half a year before she was granted asylum.
During the asylum procedure, it was confirmed that she was a victim of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
As a basis for granting asylum, the decision stated that all conditions prescribed by the Protocol for the Prevention, Suppression and Punishment of Human Trafficking, especially women and children, from 2000, were met.
APC said that last year, nearly 700 unaccompanied minors expressed intent to seek asylum, out of a total of 8,433 people, which is more than eight percent of all asylum seekers.
“Currently in Serbia we have more than 200 unaccompanied parents in Sjenica only, while in Krnjaca and across other centers there are over 400 children in total,” said APC.
The organization estimated that it is necessary to continue with this practice and to quickly implement asylum procedures for children without parents in order to either get protection in Serbia or be connected with parents, if they are safe.
“Unaccompanied minors should be accommodated in special institutions for the work and accommodation of children without parents, not in adult reception center which is very much the case in Serbia. Imagine that your own child is in a camp in a distant country with adults who are completely unknown, from other countries, other customs and languages. The possibilities for a child to be in an endangered situation and abused are huge,” APC added.
At this moment, many of the older unaccompanied youth are outdoors and are not accommodated, and the capacities for accommodating unaccompanied minors are not sufficient for the needs that exist,” the center said.