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.


b_280_0_16777215_00_images_DSCN2115.JPGThe 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.


b_280_0_16777215_00_images_20171212Mreza.jpgWe dedicate this Conference to the methodology of the visit to the places of detention. We thought that after almost five years of existence of the Network, it is necessary to make a certain summary, to underline and to see the results of previous work. Our intention is to interxchange experiences and best practices of the control mechanisms in the conduct of visits to institutions where persons are deprived of liberty, said Protector of citizens Zoran Pašalić, opening a meeting of the Southeast Europe NPM Network with the topic "Methodology of visit to places of detention".

Miloš Janković, deputy protector of citizens for the rights of persons deprived of their liberty and the chair of the Network, pointed out that there is a need to analyze in depth and address issues related to the planning of visits, such as the their types, composition of teams, visit principles, as well as guidelines and questionnaires for visits. He pointed out that since the year 2012, the National Preventive Mechanism of the Republic of Serbia has visited about 500 institutions in which persons are deprived of liberty and made about 350 visit reports, in which nearly 2000 recommendations were sent to the competent authorities for remedying the observed shortcomings and improvement of the status of the persons deprived of their liberty.

The National Preventive Mechanism met with prof. Nils Melzer, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, as part of the visit of the Special Rapporteur to the Republic of Serbia, which was held from 13. to 24. November 2017. The topics of the meeting were the state's achievements in the prevention of torture, the current situation in places where persons are deprived of their liberty and their treatment. The most important activities of the NPM in the past period were also presented to prof. Melzer.

The representatives of the NPM participated in the final meeting, which was held at the end of the visit of the Special Rapporteur to Serbia, where prof. Melzer informed representatives of state authorities about the preliminary results of his visit and the process of compiling the report.



A forum at The Center for Cultural Decontamination marked the October 10th, the World Day Against the Death Penalty and the World Mental Health Day, where Miloš Janković, Deputy Protector of Citizens for the Protection of Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty and Head of the National Preventive Mechanism, spoked.

"Serbia belongs to a group of european and world states, which, due to the basic and universal right to life and human dignity, have abolished the death penalty and took the view that these rights can not be denied even to the perpetrators of the most violent crimes. The Protector of citizens is convinced that the death penalty will never be reinstated and that the Republic of Serbia will never again kill any human being", said Miloš Janković.

He reminded that today around 140 countries in the world do not have death penalty, while in about 50 of them it continues to exists in their legal systems, and in these countries several thousands of people per year are being hunged, shot or otherwise executed. The death penalty in Serbia was last carried out on February 14, 1992 and was finally abolished in 2002, Janković reminded.

October 10th is also the World Mental Health Day, when states, psychiatrists, people with mental disorders, former psychiatric patients point to the importance of mental health for both the individual and society as a whole. On this day, Janković pointed out, the Protector of citizens once again warns on the necessity of the implementation of deinstitutionalisation and the development of the network of services for the protection, care and support of people with mental disabilities as soon as possible.

"The Protector of Citizens dedicates special attention to the protection of their rights, because people with mental disorders in our society are still particularly vulnerable and, unfortunately, largely stigmatized and marginalized. The difficult situation of people with mental disorders is also contributed by the fact that in Serbia there are no conditions for their life with the support of the local community", Janković concluded.