General

Croatia

Country Report: General Last updated: 27/05/21

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During the procedure for international protection, detention is possible under all types of procedures, where the conditions prescribed by the LITP are met. However, the majority of applicants for international protection are not detained but are accommodated in open centres. In that sense, it is not likely that any category of applicants would spend the whole status determination procedure in detention. The main reasons for the detention of applicants are situations where they request international protection after having been issued with a deportation order and situations where they left or attempted to leave Croatia before the completion of the procedure for international protection.

At the moment, Croatia has three detention centres: the Reception Centre for Foreigners located in Ježevo, with a total capacity of 95 places; the Transit Reception Centre in Trilj with a total capacity of 62 places; and the Transit Reception Centre in Tovarnik with a total capacity of 62 places.[1] This brings the total capacity of detention centres to 219. No information is available whether this has changed in the course of 2020. Due to a lack of available information, it is also difficult to assess whether COVID-19 had an impact on the number of applicants for international protection and how the health measures were implemented in detention centres.

In 2020,193 migrants were newly detained in the Reception Centre for Foreigners in Ježevo, however it is not clear how many of them were applicants for international protection.[2] By way of comparison, a total of 928 migrants were detained in 2018, of whom 535 in the Reception Centre for Foreigners in Ježevo, 109 in the Transit Reception Centre in Tovarnik and 284 Transit Reception Centre in Trilj.[3]

Article 54 para. 11 of the Law on International and Temporary Protection (LITP) foresees that a detention order can be issued by the Ministry of Interior, the police administration or the police station and they can decide on a particular measure and its duration. On 24 June 2020, the Constitutional Court issued a decision rejecting the proposal to initiate proceedings to review the constitutionality of this provision. [4] The applicant considered that said provision is contrary to Article 22 para. 2 of the Constitution,[5] as Article 54 para. 11 of LITP stipulates that restrictions on the freedom of movement of third country nationals are issued by an executive body rather than a court. Despite the fact that the Constitutional Court did not initiate proceedings to review the constitutionality, it emphasised in its reasoning that the provisions of the LITP must be interpreted and applied in the light of relevant EU directives and existing case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

 

 

[1] Information provided by the Ministry of Interior, Border Directorate, 6 February 2019.

[2] Ministry of Interior, Statistical overview of basic safety indicators and work results in 2020, available at: https://bit.ly/33SizgV, 161.

[3] Information provided by the Ministry of Interior, Border Directorate, 6 February 2019.

[4] Constitutional Court, Decision Number: U-I-503/2018, 24 June 2020, available in Croatian at: https://bit.ly/3wY8SLs.

[5] Article 22 paragraph 2 of the Croatian Constitution reads: No one shall be deprived of liberty, nor may liberty be restricted, except when specified by law, upon which a court shall decide.

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