Serbia

No Data

Immigration detainees

Not Available

Detained children

2017

8,700,000

Population

2020

Overview

Types of facilities used for migration-related detention
Administrative Ad Hoc Criminal Unknown

Related Reading

25 May 2020

Tents in Morovic Camp - originally intended to be used for quarantining Serbian nationals returning home, but now being used to deain migrants and asylum seekers, (mod.gov.rs,
Tents in Morovic Camp - originally intended to be used for quarantining Serbian nationals returning home, but now being used to deain migrants and asylum seekers, (mod.gov.rs, "BIRN Fact-check: When Did Serbia Order All Arrivals to Self-Isolate?" Balkan Insight, 8 April 2020, https://balkaninsight.com/2020/04/08/birn-fact-check-when-did-serbia-order-all-arrivals-to-self-isolate/)

Since March, all transit and asylum centres have been in lock-down. Raids of squats and informal accommodation have increased since then, with migrants and asylum seekers apprehended and transferred to camps across the country. According to the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN), the government temporarily opened several “camps,” which have been quickly filled with new arrivals. These sites are in Morović, Subotica, and Miratovac. Reportedly, the facility in Morović has been used to confine overflow from other sites and “troublemakers” from facilities elsewhere. Some of these, including the tented facility in Morović - had originally been intended to be used for quarantining Serbian nationals returning home.

Despite Serbia lifting its state of emergency on 6 May, on 16 May the government announced that it would be deploying troops to “secure” and “protect” three migrant reception centres located on the country’s border with Croatia. Reportedly these three facilities - Principovac, Sid-Stanica, and Adasevci - currently confine 1,500 migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, most of whom are from Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. President Vučić reportedly told a local media outlet that the deployment was also to protect locals in the area. Since the country had begun to lift lockdown, he claimed, “the migrants started venturing outside the camps, committing petty crimes and illegal entries into houses.”

Pushbacks from Serbia into North Macedonia have continued during the crisis. In one case documented by the BVMN in early April, a group of 15 adult men and one minor in Tutin camp were informed that they were being transferred to a site in Prescevo. Crammed into a police van, they were driven for nine hours before being forced outside and, with guns pointed at them, ordered to cross into North Macedonia. The group attempted to re-enter Serbia four times, but on each occasion they were pushed back across the border.

As the GDP reported on 23 April, anti-migrant sentiment has been growing in Serbia. Since March, one of the fastest growing Facebook groups in the country is called “Stop Migrant Settlement.” Some of the group’s members have voiced their belief that authorities introduced curfews not to stem the virus’s spread, but so that they could quietly settle migrants across the country. In early May, a car was driven into a migrant centre in Obrenovac, with the driver live-streaming the attack on his Facebook page.


23 April 2020

A group of migrants rest at the Serbian village of Kelebia, bordering Hungary (EPA-EFE/Zoltan Balogh Hungary Out/ Balkan Insight - https://balkaninsight.com/2020/04/09/movement-ban-worsens-migrants-plight-in-serbia-bosnia/
A group of migrants rest at the Serbian village of Kelebia, bordering Hungary (EPA-EFE/Zoltan Balogh Hungary Out/ Balkan Insight - https://balkaninsight.com/2020/04/09/movement-ban-worsens-migrants-plight-in-serbia-bosnia/

NGOs report that 6,852 migrants and asylum seekers are currently confined in the country’s 13 closed reception centres. Many had tried to cross into Croatia and Hungary - with some being forcibly pushed back by Hungarian and Croatian border police. In recent months, anti-migrant sentiment has grown in the country: a rally in Belgrade in early March called for the return of all migrants passing through Serbia and warned that participants would set up street patrols to intercept foreigners.

After the eruption of the Covid-19 crisis, Serbian authorities quickly moved to lock-down reception centres, imposing a state of quarantine on 17 March. Article 3, paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Decree on Emergency Measures provides that migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers may be deprived of their liberty on the grounds of preventing “uncontrolled movement” and the potential spread of the virus. With armed soldiers reportedly stationed outside the reception centres, migrants and asylum seekers have not been allowed out of the facilities unless they receive special permission, and rights organisations have been prevented from entering - thus denying detainees psychological, legal, or other forms of assistance.

However, with no confirmed cases amongst the non-citizen population, and with no such restrictions in place for Serbian citizens living in private accommodation, rights observers argue that this amounts to “discrimination on the basis of legal status, origin and place of residence.” The human rights NGO A11 says that the government’s quarantine of reception facilities is additionally problematic given that the collective deprivation of liberty of non-citizens has produced inhuman and degrading conditions in certain facilities due to severe overcrowding - reportedly, capacity at Sombor Transit Centre has reached 450 percent.


Last updated:

IMMIGRATION AND DETENTION-RELATED STATISTICS

Number of immigration detainees on a given day
6,852
2020
Number of detained asylum seekers
12
2016
Total number of detained minors
Not Available
2017
Criminal prison population
10,065
2016
Percentage of foreign prisoners
3.5
2015
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
142
2016
Population
8,700,000
2020
Total number of immigration detainees by year
Top nationalities of detainees
Number of persons granted alternatives to immigration detention
Number of detained unaccompanied minors
Number of detained accompanied minors
Number of detained stateless persons
Number of apprehensions of non-citizens
Immigration detainees as a percentage of total international migrant population
Estimated total immigration detention capacity
Number of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
Estimated capacity of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
Number of dedicated medium-term immigration detention centres
Number of immigration offices
Number of transit facilities
Number of criminal facilities
Number of ad hoc facilities
Number of persons removed/returned (voluntary returns and deportations)
Number of deportations/forced returns only
Percentage of persons removed in relation to total number of people placed in removal procedures
International migrants
International migrants as a percentage of the population
Estimated number of undocumented migrants
Refugees
Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
Total number of new asylum applications
Refugee recognition rate
Stateless persons

SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)
Remittances to the country
Remittances from the country
Unemployment Rate
Unemployment rate amongst migrants
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD)
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
Detention for deterrence
Pew Global Attitudes Poll on Immigration
Immigration Index Score
World Bank Rule of Law Index
Domestic Opinion Polls on Immigration

DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES

Legal tradition
Civil law
2017
Constitutional guarantees?
Core pieces of national legislation
Additional legislation
Regulations, standards, guidelines
Immigration-status-related grounds
Non-immigration-status-related grounds providing for administrative detention in immigration legislation.
Does the country provide specific criminal penalties for immigration-related violations?
Grounds for criminal immigration-related detention/incarceration and maximum potential duration of incarceration
Has the country decriminalized immigration-related violations?
Maximum length for administrative immigration detention in law.
Longest recorded instance of immigration detention.
Maximum length of time in custody prior to issuance of a detention order
Average length of detention
Maximum length of detention for asylum-seekers
Maximum length of detention for persons detained upon arrival at ports of entry
Provision of basic procedural standards
Types of non-custodial measures
Impact of alternatives
Is the detention of vulnerable persons provided in law? Are they detained in practice?
Mandatory detention
Expedited/fast track removal
Re-entry ban

INTERNATIONAL LAW

Individual complaints procedure
Acceptance Year
ICERD, declaration under article 14 of the Convention 2001
2001
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 2001
2001
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2003
2003
CAT, declaration under article 22 of the Convention 2001
2001
CRPD, Optional Protocol to o the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2009
2009
ICPED, International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, declaration under article 31 2011
2011
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted
Observation Date
6/7
2017
Regional legal instruments
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
CPCSE, Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse 2010
2010
ECPT, European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment 2004
2004
CATHB, Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings 2009
2009
ECHRP1, Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights (amended by protocol 11) 2004
2004
ECHRP7, Protocol 7 to the European Convention on Human Rights (amended by protocol 11) 2004
2004
ECHRP12, Protocol 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights 2004
2004
ECHR, Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (commonly known as the European Convention on Human Rights 2004
2004
Bilateral/multilateral agreements linked to readmission
Year in Force
Observation Date
Germany 2003
2003
2017
Germany 2011
2011
2017
Austria 2004
2004
2017
Austria 2011
2011
2017
Bulgaria 2010
2010
2017
Croatia 2004
2004
2017
Denmark 2003
2003
2017
Italy 1998
1998
2017
Malta 2010
2010
2017
Slovakia 2003
2003
2017
Slovakia 2009
2009
2017
Slovenia 2009
2009
2017
Spain 2011
2011
2017
Sweden 2003
2003
2017
Norway 2009
2009
2017
Switzerland 2010
2010
2017
Russian Federation 2015
2015
2017
EU 2008
2008
2017
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2009
2017
No 2013
2017
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
International treaty reservations
Treaty bodies decisions on individual complaints
Relevant recommendations issued by treaty bodies
Regional treaty reservations
Regional judicial decisions on individual complaints
Recommendations issued by regional human rights mechanisms
Visits by special procedures of the Human Rights Council
Relevant recommendations by UN Special Procedures

INSTITUTIONAL INDICATORS

Federal or centralized governing system
Centralized or decentralized immigration authority
Custodial authority
Apprehending authorities
Detention Facility Management
Formally designated detention estate?
Types of detention facilities used in practice
Authorized monitoring institutions
Is the national human rights institution (NHRI) recognized as independent?
Does NHRI carry out visits?
Does NHRI have capacity to receive complaints?
Does NHRI publicly release reports on immigration detention?
Does national preventive mechanism (NPM) carry out visits?
Does NPM have capacity to receive complaints?
Does NPM publicly release reports on immigration detention?
Do NGOs carry out visits?
NGO capacity to receive complaints?
Do NGOs publish reports on immigration detention?
Do parliamentary organs carry out visits?
Do parliamentary organs have capacity to receive complaints?
Do parliamentary organs publicly report on their detention findings?
Do internal inspection agencies (IIAs) carry out visits?
Do IIAs have capacity to receive complaints?
Do IIAs publicly report their findings from detention inspections?
Do international and/or regional bodies (IRBs) visit immigration-related detention facilities?
Do IRBs publicly report their findings from inspections?
Types of privatisation/outsourcing
Detention contractors and other non-state entities
Estimated annual budget for detention operations
Estimated annual budgets for particular detention-related activities
Estimated cost per detainees day (in USD)
Estimated annual budget for non-custodial measures (in USD)
Estimated costs of non-custodial measures (in USD)
Does the country receive external sources of funding?
Description of foreign assistance