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Appeal to expedite protection for Ukrainian refugees in Serbia

Source: Tanjug
Photo: Tanjug

Belgrade, March 3, 2024– Radoš Đurović from Asylum Protection Center said today that it is necessary to change the existing legal regulations or adopt new ones, if the state wants to extend the measure of temporary protection for Ukrainians in Serbia, which expires on March 18.

Đurović said that the solution can be found in a new legal framework or in providing asylum for refugees from war-torn Ukraine.

“We insisted at an early stage, at the beginning and in the middle of last year, that this measure should be considered in time. We received positive impressions from the representatives of the institutions. This is another appeal to hasten them. Of course, it is not easy to change the law, the procedure is complicated. This is just another reminder to speed things up and to be completed successfully,” Đurović told Tanjug.

He noted that on March 18, it will be two years since the decision on the temporary protection of refugees from Ukraine was made, and that it is not legally allowed to extend that protection after the deadline.

Many of the Ukrainians in Serbia, as he stated, joined the labor market and began integration.

“They have the right to health care, to the education of their children in Serbia, to freedom of movement and to an identity document in Serbia. After the deadline, all these rights will be jeopardized and this will be a strong blow for all of them,” Đurović pointed out.

Đurović added that there is a trend to stay, and that between 12,000 and 15,000 Ukrainians stay in Serbia every day.

“What is important to people from Ukraine here, and what they often comment on when talking to us, is a warm environment, a culture and language very similar to theirs, as well as the proximity to Ukraine,” Đurović emphasized.

As he stated, they do not represent a burden for Serbia considering that they join the labor market and bear the cost of living.

“It is a model that should serve us for accepting other refugees as well, because this model of temporary protection, that you have the possibility to immediately join the labor market, relieves the system a lot,” said Đurović.

When asked if the measures to help asylum seekers differ from the EU measures, Đurović said that their concept has been transferred into our legal system.

“On this issue, it has been shown that when the EU countries want to be in solidarity, and that is the case with the Ukrainians, then there are no problems with accepting refugees. They have accepted about four million refugees across the EU and they do not have any, shall I say, headaches” , said Đurović.

Đurović pointed out that there are positive indications when it comes to the new regulations, which will enable the extension of asylum for Ukrainians.


link: https://www.tanjug.rs/srbija/politika/76944/rados-durovic-apel-da-se-ubrza-produzenje-mere-zastite-izbeglih-ukrajinaca-u-srbiji/vest

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