Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update


Country Report: Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update Last updated: 26/06/23


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The report was previously updated in April 2022.


International protection

Asylum procedure

  • Access to the territory: Reports of push backs and violent police practices at the border were documented in 2022. According to the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), 3,461 persons were pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in 2022,[1] while UNHCR data further indicates that 289 persons were pushed back from Croatia to Serbia in 2022.[2] The Ombudsperson for Children reported that at least 120 children were pushed back in 2022 according to data provided by the Border Violence Monitoring Network’s. The actual number is however likely higher.
  • Relevant case law on access to the territory: In 2022, a Rohingya child submitted complaints against Croatia and Slovenia at the UN Child Rights Committee for multiple violations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).[3] The child spent over a year in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) from 2020 to 2021. During this time, he was pushed back five times from Croatia to BiH and subjected to violence. In Slovenia, he was subjected to a “chain” pushback, forcibly returned first to Croatia by Slovenian authorities and then onwards to BiH by Croatian authorities. In April 2022, in the case H. and Others v. Croatia,[4]the request for referral was rejected by the Grand Chamber panel of five judges and the judgement become final.[5] In October the Action plan in the case was published[6].
  • Key statistics on the asylum procedure: The number of applicants for international protection increased significantly throughout 2022, going from 3,039 in 2021 to 12,872. Although detailed statistics were not made available by national authorities, the recognition rate remained low, as only 21 persons were granted asylum in the course of 2022.[7] According to the Ombudsman’s report,[8] 10,087 intentions to apply for international protection were expressed in border police stations and 137 in airport police stations. In 2022, apart from 21 refugee statuses being granted, according to the Ombudsman report, 81 applications for international protection were rejected and 3,406 were suspended. Croatia continues to be a transit country as the majority of applicants for international protection leave Croatia to other countries. In the second half of 2022 further intensification of transit migration levels was observed as during August and September 2022 applicants  were staying in the Reception Centre for Applicants for International Protection for an average of only 3 days.[9] According to the report of independent monitoring mechanism covering the period June 2021-June 2022, approximately 80% of persons who applied for international protection and were therefore accommodated in the Reception Centre for Applicants for International Protection in Zagreb had left the Reception Centre and their proceedings were suspended.[10]


Reception conditions

  • Reception centres: During 2022, the renovation of the Reception Centre for applicants of international protection in Kutina was completed and the capacity for accommodation of applicants was increased to 140 persons.[11]


Detention of asylum seekers

  • Relevant case law: In January 2023, the European Court on Human Rights (ECtHR) published its ruling on the case Daraibou v. Croatia,[12] application no. 84523/17. The case concerned a Moroccan applicant, Daraibou, who was detained in a border police station together with three other migrants. In March 2015, the border police found the applicant and three other persons, in a truck with Croatian license plates. It was established that the migrants had entered Croatia clandestinely, avoiding border control. They were taken to the nearest police station in Bajakovo. While waiting readmission to Serbia, they were placed in the premises for the detention of irregular migrants in the border police station. One of them allegedly set fire to the facility, which caused death of three migrants and serious injuries to the applicant. The ECtHR found a violation of the material and procedural aspect of Art. 2. of ECHR due to the fact that the domestic authorities did not take sufficient measures to protect the life and limb of the applicant, and due to the failure to conduct a sufficiently detailed and effective investigation following the event, according to the Conventional standards. At present, the judgment is not final.


Content of international protection

  • Inclusion: A new Integration Action Plan was not adopted in 2022, even if the previous Integration Action Plan had expired at the end of 2019. Although the integration policy is still being developed to a large extent at the national level, progress can be observed at the local level as well. In January 2022, the Assembly of the City of Zagreb adopted the Action Plan of the City of Zagreb for the integration of applicants for international protection and persons granted international protection for the year 2022,[13] making the City of Zagreb the first unit of local and regional self-governments in the RoC which adopted such a strategic document.[14]


Other relevant developments

  • Schengen access: As of January 1, 2023, Croatia joined Schengen and Eurozone. The Law on State Border Control was amended in 2022, with the aim of adapting that act to the Schengen Acquis which apply as of 1 January 2023 after border controls at Croatian internal borders were abolished.
  • Immigration Policy: In December 2022,[15] the Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted a Proposal for a Decision on the establishment of an Interdepartmental Working Group for drafting a proposal for a document on the immigration policy of the Republic of Croatia.[16] The Ministry of Interior coordinates the work of the Interdepartmental Working Group.


Temporary protection

The information given hereafter constitute a short summary of the annex on Temporary Protection to this report. For further information, see Annex on Temporary Protection.

Temporary protection procedure

  • Registration for temporary protection: On March 7, 2022, the Government of the Republic of Croatia[17] adopted the decision on introducing temporary protection on the basis of Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 of 4 March 2022, which establishes the existence of a mass influx of persons in accordance with Article 5 of Directive 2001/55/ EC. Applications for temporary protection need to be submitted at police stations, while the competent authority for recognising the temporary protection status lies with the Ministry of Interior. The application can be submitted in person at the police station or administration based on place of residence of applicant or via online form available at the e-platform Croatia4Ukraine.[18] An exception was foreseen for those persons who were accommodated in collective accommodation, at times of increased arrivals of persons displaced from Ukraine to Croatia.[19] These persons did not have to go personally to the police station/administration, but could submit the application directly to the officials of the Ministry of the Interior who visited the collective accommodations in order to speed up the process of receiving and further processing of the applications.
  • Scope of temporary protection: Pursuant to the Government’s Decision, Croatia shall grant temporary protection to Ukrainian nationals and members of their families residing in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and who left Ukraine from 24 February 2022 onwards; stateless persons and third country nationals who were under international or equivalent national protection in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and members of their families who were granted residence in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and who left Ukraine since 24 February 2022; third country nationals who had a valid permanent stay in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 in accordance with Ukrainian regulations and who cannot return to their country or region of origin in safe and permanent conditions and who left Ukraine since 24 February 2022. Regarding those who had fled Ukraine before 24 February 2022, temporary protection shall also be granted to the displaced citizens of Ukraine and members of their families who left Ukraine immediately before 24 February 2022 due to the security situation and cannot return to the country because of the armed conflict. According to the official statement of the Ministry of Interior,[20] ‘immediately before’ is to be considered as starting from 1 January 2022.


Content of temporary protection

  • Residence permit: After the person has been granted the status of temporary protection, the police administration, i.e. the police station competent based on the place of residence of the applicant, or officials of the Ministry of Interior or of the police administrations or police stations who are present in collective accommodation facilities issue the identity card of a foreigner under temporary protection to the person. The card is proof of having been granted TP status, represents the residence permit and serves as a valid document for exercising all the rights that beneficiaries are entitled go under the scope of protection status. Given the fact that the circumstances related to the introducing of temporary protection did not change over the course of one year, decision about prolongation of temporary protection has been made. Temporary protection has been prolonged until 4 March 2024[21], as well as all the rights of beneficiaries of temporary protection within the scope of protection status. In order to extend temporary protection (i.e. the validity of the card of a foreigner under temporary protection), beneficiaries of temporary protection were requested to present themselves to the police administration/police station according to their place of residence in the period from 15 February 2023 to 30 April 2023. However, persons who applied for a card extension after 30 April 2023 did not lose their temporary protection status. It is not necessary to submit an application for an extension of temporary protection as the extension is recorded in the existing card of a foreigner under temporary protection.
  • Access to rights: Beneficiaries of temporary protection enjoy a wide range of rights in the Republic of Croatia, and no significant obstacles to their realization have been observed due to the fast reaction of the authorities and early establishment of an effective reception and care system. By amending the Law on Social Welfare,[22] beneficiaries of temporary protection gained the right to receive all social services and benefits provided for by law under the same conditions as Croatian citizens.
  • Access to the labour market: Beneficiaries of temporary protection have unrestricted access to the labour market, as do Croatian citizens. What represents a difficulty is the insufficient knowledge of Croatian language (and the lack of official language courses organised by the state) and the lengthy and expensive procedure of recognition and evaluation of foreign qualifications (especially for professions regulated by law). Therefore, options for employment in certain professions are significantly limited.
  • Access to education: Access to primary and secondary education is fully facilitated and accessible. As for admission to higher education institutions, only some universities or their constituents decided to facilitate enrolment or continuation of studies, while the rest kept the quota system for third country nationals, which implies high tuition fees.
  • Housing: Persons who cannot afford to live in private accommodation have two options available: accommodation in a collective centre where they are provided with free accommodation and food, and accommodation in private units that meet the prescribed conditions, for which a contract is concluded between the landlord and the state.
  • Health care: Within the framework of exercising the right to health care, beneficiaries of temporary protection face problems that represent a general feature of the health care system in the Republic of Croatia – long-term waiting for specialist examinations. In addition, they are not entitled to contract supplementary health insurance. They enjoy the right to health care to the extent enjoyed by persons who are compulsorily insured, but at the same time they are not insured and the costs of their health care are covered directly from the budget of the Republic of Croatia. As a result, they are not able to contract supplementary insurance, except in the case of employment, which would avoid additional (and large) health care costs that exceed the scope of protection provided by compulsory insurance.




[1] Danish Refugee Council (DRC): Border Monitoring Factsheets January- December 2022, available in English at: http://bit.ly/42BEYfK.

[2] UNHCR, Serbia- Snapshots January- December 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3FJF7E1.

[3] European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR): Rohingya child challenges Croatia and Slovenia over violent pushbacks, available at: https://bit.ly/3IKK0yf.

[4] EctHR, Judgment in the case of M.H. and others v. Croatia (Applications nos. 15670/18 and 43115/18), available at: https://bit.ly/43wOzE9.

[5] ECtHR: Grand Chamber Panel’s decisions – April 2022, Press Release – Referrals to Grand Chamber, published on April 4, 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3WCvyhe.

[6] ECtHR: Communication from Croatia concerning the case of M.H. and Others v. Croatia (Application No. 15670/18).

[7] Ministry of Interior, Statistics 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3C0HJuR.

[8] Report of the Ombudsman for 2022, available in Croatian at: https://bit.ly/439X3kT.

[9] Information provided by MdM, 14 February 2022.

[10] Annual report of the Independent Mechanism of monitoring the actions of police officers of the Ministry of the Interior in the area of illegal migration and international protection- June 2021 – June 2022; available at: https://bit.ly/3qhkuKB.

[11] Ministry of Interior, Successful completion of the project “Renovation of the Reception Center for Applicants of International Protection in Kutina”, available at: https://bit.ly/3OGR6Y7.

[12] EctHR, judgment in the case of Daraibou v. Croatia; Application no. 84523/17, available at: https://bit.ly/3THBvbb; Press Release: Judgment Daraibou v. Croatia – fatal fire in police-station basement room used to detain illegal migrants, available at: https://bit.ly/3lFUYfS.

[13] Action Plan of the City of Zagreb for the integration of applicants for international protection and persons granted international protection for the year 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3Zbg9o0.

[14] For more, see: https://bit.ly/40cXQjw.

[15] Government of the Republic of Croatia: 178 Session, available at: https://bit.ly/44aQ2k2.

[16] Government of the Republic of Croatia: Proposal for a Decision on the establishment of an Interdepartmental Working Group for drafting a proposal for a document on the immigration policy of the Republic of Croatia, available at: https://bit.ly/3Nj373B.

[17] Croatian Government, Decision on the Introduction of Temporary Protection in the Republic of Croatia for Displaced Persons from Ukraine, available in Croatian at: https://bit.ly/37ylO2c.

[18] Ministry of Interior, web page, Croatia for Ukraine: https://croatia4ukraine.mup.hr/Pages/Zahtjev.

[19] The Ministry of Interior, web page Croatia for Ukraine: https://hrvatskazaukrajinu.gov.hr/informacije/status-privremene-zastite/152.

[20] Information provided by Ministry of Interior on 10 November 2022.

[21] Information provided by the Ministry of Interior on 2 February 2023.

[22] The Law on Amendments to the Law on Social Welfare (OG 46/22), available at: https://bit.ly/3TIJc1a.

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