Belgrade, Avgust 2, 2021 – Currently, there are 5,000 to 6,000 asylum-seeking migrants on the territory of Serbia, who are in camps or outside the provided accommodation, in informal settlements, primarily in the north of the country and in Belgrade. There are people who have been “stuck” in our country for two or three years, their legal status has not been determined and they are practically invisible to the system, Jovana Vinčić from Asylum Protection Center told RTS.
In a guest appearance in the Belgrade Chronicle, Vinčić stated that a significant part of the migrants manage to leave quickly, but that every day 120 to 150 people enter the country from the south or from Bulgaria.
According to her, women and children make up about 15 percent of the total number of migrants, about 45 percent are refugees from Afghanistan, followed by Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, and Palestine.
Asylum-seeking migrants stay in camps, which is a temporary solution, but some have been here for two or three years.
“There are people who are ‘stuck’ in our country, they have been here for a couple of years, and what is most controversial to us is that a large percentage of people residing on the territory of Serbia do not have a legal status and they are practically invisible to the system,” points out Vinčić.
She adds that they are in camps, some have camp cards, but they are not registered as asylum seekers, they do not exercise their rights, they are not informed about their obligations.
“They are often victims of their legal invisibility and cannot exercise some of their basic rights, such as housing, the right to health and social care,” emphasizes Vinčić.
She points out that migrants do not have the right to stay on private addresses and apartments without the approval of the Asylum Office. If citizens notice them in private apartments, they should inform the police, and the police are the ones who will react within their competence and refer them to one of the asylum centers or reception centers where they have the right to secure accommodation and food.
In the centers, they have the right to accommodation, health care, food and clothing. Those who are in the asylum procedure nine months after submitting their application realize the right to work and have the right to get a job, says Jovana Vinčić from Asylum Protection Center.