Read more ...The Protector of Citizens today concluded agreements on cooperation with four associations for the protection and promotion of human rights and freedoms in the performance of the NPM, which were elected by the procedure of election under the Public Invitation of the Protector of Citizens as of March 30 this year.

The Ombudsman concluded individual agreements with the Belgrade Center for Human Rights, the Committee of Lawyers for Human Rights, the MDRI-S Initiative for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the International Aid Network - IAN. These associations will participate in visits to places where people are deprived of liberty, making reports, recommendations, opinions and other acts, as well as in performing other NPM activities.

The Protector of Citizens passed the Decision on the choice of associations for cooperation in performing the duties of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), which states that the Protector of Citizens will cooperate with the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights, the Mental Disability Rights Initiative of Serbia MDRI-S and International Aid Network I.A.N.

The procedure for choosing the associations was conducted by the Public Invitation published in the "Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 25 dated March 30, 2018.

Representatives of the Secretariat of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) attended the Training for Forced-Return Monitors, held in Belgrade for ombudsmen/npm institutions officers from the region.

During the training, the FRONTEX procedure of return operations and the role of the monitor in it were presented to NPM officers. They were acquainted with the activities of the monitors in all stages of forced-return and the way of compiling reports, as well as the duties of the escorts. At the same time, they had the opportunity to exchange experiences in this field with their colleagues.

The new Law on Foreigners, which will begin to be applied in the second half of this year, stipulates that the Protector of Citizens, in accordance with the competencies of the Law on the Protector of Citizens and the Law on the Ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, supervise the forced removal of foreigners.

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Representatives of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) discussed the situation of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the Republic of Serbia with a delegation of the National Ombudsman of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, who is on a two-day visit to the Protector of Ctizens.

The NPM presented the results of its work in protection of the rights of migrants and asylum seekers and in monitoring of centers for their reception. Representatives of the Dutch Ombudsman were particularly interested in the NPM recommendations, cooperation with state authorities and the results of the South-East Europe NPM Network.


Read more ...The National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) of the Republic of Serbia marks the International Migrants Day this year by visiting the Krnjača Asylum Center, which has the capacity to accommodate about 1000 migrants. On this occasion, the NPM will meet with Assistant Commissioner for reception, care, return and integration of refugees Mr. Ivan Gerginov, in order to discuss the current situation in this and other centers for the reception of migrants.

Since the beginning of the year, in order to monitor the situation of migrants located in the territory of the Republic of Serbia, the NPM conducted 35 visits to reception centers for migrants, asylum centers, border crossings and various informal gathering points of migrants. In the same period, NPM sent over 50 recommendations for improving the treatment of migrants by competent authorities. Particular attention was paid to victims of torture and unaccompanied minors.

Currently there are about 5,000 migrants in Serbia, most of which are accommodated in official accommodation facilities, but unfortunately there are still those, mostly single adults, who on their own will continue to stay outside reception and asylum centers, although there’s enough free space. Having in mind the adverse weather conditions, the authorities are undertaking activities in order to accommodate all the migrants in the reception centers. It is particularly worrying that almost all migrants want to continue their journey further, and in spite of that, only about 50 of them per week enter the European Union legally. This leads to great dissatisfaction and psychological pressure, so NPM addressed a large number of recommendations in order to establish and improve the provision of psychological assistance and support to migrants.