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Issued the first Serbian passports for refugees

Source: APC
Photo: APC

Belgrade, April 15, 2024– Today, the Serbian authorities handed over the first Serbian passport to a refugee who came to Serbia as a minor without parents in 2018, fleeing from Afghanistan due to the danger to his life and he was granted asylum in Serbia in 2019.
With the legal assistance of Asylum Protection Center, Hari applied for and received asylum as a boy, and now, after more than 6 years, he received the first Serbian passport for refugees!

In this way, Serbia has taken a big step in the protection of refugees, including unaccompanied minors, by adopting the legal framework on travel documents for refugees and by its determination, after many years (more than 17 years since the establishing of the asylum system in the country ), started issuing travel documents to persons to whom it granted asylum, and sent them a message that it accepted and protected them from becoming victims of smugglers and criminals in or outside of Serbia and that after receiving asylum in Serbia, they can, if necessary, temporarily leave Serbia and always return to it because they are under its protection.

According to the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees from 1951, which was ratified by Serbia and according to the Serbian Law on Asylum and Temporary Protection, persons granted asylum have the right to freedom of movement and a travel document.
With the adopted Rulebook on the appearance and content of the travel document form for refugees in November 2023, Serbia presented the appearance of the travel document for persons who have received asylum in Serbia. The same rulebook was adopted on November 24, 2023, and began to apply from February 1, 2024.

Serbian passports for refugees are blue, in other aspects at first glance they do not differ from passports for Serbian citizens. The refugee passport as a travel document, however, does not imply Serbian citizenship, but persons who were given refuge by Serbia, i.e. provided them with protection and stay on our territory, are allowed to travel outside of Serbia if there is a need for that.

Hari, who received a refugee passport today, speaks the Serbian language perfectly and is in no way different from other local citizens, because he came to Serbia as a minor and received asylum, and was also a ward of the social protection system and Serbian institutions for accommodation of unaccompanied minors.
Asylum Protection Center helped him in addition to seeking and obtaining asylum and a passport, in psychosocial empowerment and employment, and continues to help him in the process of complete integration into our society.

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