Differential treatment of specific nationalities in the procedure

Croatia

Country Report: Differential treatment of specific nationalities in the procedure Last updated: 27/05/21

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In Croatia there are no official policies implemented with regard to nationals of particular countries, as every application is examined individually and on a case by case basis.

Resettlement pledges

Based on the 2015 Decision on relocation and resettlement of third-country nationals or stateless persons who meet the conditions for approval of international protection, Croatia has committed to accept 150 people through resettlement. Due to the high number of people who withdrew from the process during the selection missions, this quota was filled in October 2018 following four selection missions. By way of illustration, another mission took place in February 2019, during which 141 Syrian refugees identified by UNHCR were interviewed and 103 selected for resettlement.[1]

In addition, Croatia continued to implement the 2017 Decision on resettlement of third-country nationals or stateless persons who meet the conditions for approval of international protection, which requires Croatia to accept up to 100 persons.

A new Decision on resettlement of third-country nationals or stateless persons who meet the conditions for approval of international protection for 2019 entered into force in February 2019.[2] The Decision foresees that Croatia will accept up to 150 persons through resettlement or shall participate in other forms of solidarity with EU Member States.

In May 2019, in the framework of the Croatian resettlement programme, 50 Syrian citizens arrived in the Reception Centre of Kutina. Four representatives of the Ministry of the Interior participated in the study visit from 24-28 June 2019 as part of the resettlement programme. The study visit aimed to exchange experiences and best practices with Portuguese colleagues while Portugal was conducting a selection mission in Turkey, Ankara.[3]

According to the Ministry of Interior, the seventh group of refugees from Turkey arrived in Croatia as part of the European Resettlement Program on 21 August 2019. The group consisted of 8 families i.e 41 citizens of the Syrian Arab Republic, of whom 24 are minors.[4] 7 Syrian nationals (2 families) arrived on 30 August 2019. As a result, Croatia has fulfilled its pledge within the EU resettlement scheme to effectively resettle 250 Syrian refugees from Turkey, according to the Decisions on Relocation and Resettlement of Third-country Nationals or Stateless Persons Eligible for International Protection from 2015 (150 persons) and 2017 (100 persons).[5]

In 2020, due to COVID 19, resettlement was suspended In 2020, Croatia decided to take part in the relocation of unaccompanied children from Greece.[6] It is expected that relocation will took place in the course of 2021. Although the Croatian government originally planned to accept ten children, after the fire at the Moria camp in Greece, it was decided that 12 children would be relocated to Croatia.[7]

Although the Ministry of Interior reported in previous years that they do not keep statistics on the average duration of the resettlement process, they stated that the procedure from the receipt of the file from UNHCR to the transfer of refugees to Croatia lasts about 6 months on average.

In 2020, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) was the implementing partner of the Government of the Republic of Croatia to ensure the integration of resettled refugees from Turkey.[8] JRS’ mobile team helped beneficiaries included in the project on a daily basis in early integration, communication with institutions and the local community. All children included in the project were enrolled in primary school and have completed the 2019/2020 school year. Beneficiaries of the program have passed the Croatian language course and vocational retraining, and some of them have been successfully employed. The project ended in October 2020. The final publication of the project is available online[9].

After the introduction of epidemiological measures, IOM trained (partially online) around 60 volunteers in the area of Zagreb, Sisak, Karlovac and Slavonski Brod to work with resettled beneficiaries of protection.[10] During September 2020, it was planned to start implementing individual integration plans for volunteer mentors, who were supposed to start assisting, however this activity was suspended and implementation was planned for the beginning of 2021.

In the resettlement process, Rehabilitation Centre for Stress and Trauma (RCT) provided post-arrival support in the form of socio-cultural orientation workshops, which were held in Sisak, Karlovac and Zagreb, within the project STIRE: Strengthening the integration of the resettled.[11] In total, 42 beneficiaries of international protection participated to the workshops in the course of 2020.

After earthquakes, that hit central Croatia, and mostly Sisak-Moslavina County, on 28 and 29  December 2020, the Croatian Red Cross (CRC) intervention team visited the area.[12]  Three families that came to Croatia through the resettlement programme and were situated in the Sisak area, were evacuated and accommodated in reception centres organised by the city of Sisak. CRC provided psychosocial support to families. CRC also contacted the central state office for reconstruction and housing and visited all the apartments. One flat, in which a single person was accommodated, was damaged to such an extended that the beneficiary of protection was moved to another apartment with another refugee. Structural engineers visited the buildings where the beneficiaries are accommodated, and according to CRS two families can return to their apartments, while one apartment still has to be repaired. As for the families that are situated in Karlovac, their apartments were not damaged.

 

 

[1] SHARE, Integration Magazine, April 2019, available in English at: https://bit.ly/2xyKwOm.

[2] Official Gazette 16/2019.

[3]  EMN, Bulletin, July 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/2xQ8zrO.

[4] Ministry of Interior, ‘The arrival of the seventh group of Syrian refugees from Turkey’, 21 August 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/3c181hL.

[5]  EMN, Bulletin, November 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/34iMWN8.

[6]  Telegram, ‘Confirmed to the Telegram: seven EU countries will accept 1,600 refugee children, including Croatia’, 12 March 2020, available in Croatian at: https://bit.ly/3ato5KA.

[7]  Telegram, ‘Telegram finds out: After the terrible fire in the migrant camp, the Government is preparing to accept 12 children’, 12 September 2020, available in Croatian at: https://bit.ly/3n6F36E.

[8]  Information provided by JRS, 12 January 2021.

[9]  JRS, Report on the project available in Croatian at: https://bit.ly/2RWB2GF.

[10] Information provided by IOM, 30 December 2020.

[11]  Information provided by the Rehabilitation Centre for Stress and Trauma,7 February 2021.

[12] Information provided by Croatian Red Cross, 2 March 2021.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation