Travel documents

Serbia

Author

Belgrade Centre for Human Rights

Although the Asylum Act provides that persons granted asylum shall be issued a travel document on a prescribed form,1 which is also guaranteed by Article 48 of the Refugee Convention, the Ministry of Interior has not, since the entry into force of the Act, adopted a bylaw on the appearance and content of the travel document for refugees.

Due to this legal vacuum, refugees’ freedom of movement is limited even though it is guaranteed by the Serbian Constitution and the ECHR. This means that refugees can leave Serbia only illegally unless they possess a valid travel document issued by their country of origin. In light of this situation, which one Syrian refugee who was granted asylum in Serbia found himself in, the BCHR filed a constitutional appeal with the Constitutional Court in 2015. A constitutional appeal was filed in 2014 as well for the same reasons for other BCHR clients.

The Constitutional Court dismissed the constitutional appeal on 20 June 2016, stating that the subject of constitutional appeal cannot be a failure to adopt general legal act, but only the individual act as it is prescribed by Article 170 of the Constitution.2 This reasoning remains unclear since the consequences embodied throughout illegal and unjustified limitation of freedom of movement were reflected upon individuals. The BCHR is currently working on an application to the ECtHR.

  • 1. Article 43 Asylum Act.
  • 2. Constitutional Court, Decision UŽ 4197/2015, 20 June 2016.

About AIDA

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti