Access to reception centres by third parties

Croatia

Country Report: Access to reception centres by third parties Last updated: 27/05/21

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Croatian Law Centre Visit Website

Relevant legislation does not contain any specific provisions on the access of third parties to the Reception Centres for Applicants for International Protection, but in practice family members, legal advisors, UNHCR and NGOs have access to these centres.

Also, both Reception Centres are open facilities and applicants may leave the centre according to the house rules and are able to meet anyone outside. According to the LITP, the Croatian Red Cross, UNHCR and other organisations involved in the protection of refugee rights or doing humanitarian work, may conduct pedagogical, educational and similar activities and provide other types of assistance at the reception centres, subject to prior authorisation by the Ministry of Interior.[1]

The employees of the Croatian Red Cross, are present in both Reception Centres for Applicants for International Protection.

In practice, access to the centres by UNHCR and other relevant NGOs has not seemed to be problematic in the past. The Croatian Law Centre had a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Interior for the provision of legal assistance which was valid by the end of March 2020. Other organisations present in Reception Centres have cooperation agreements with the Ministry of Interior for the provision of their activities. However, the Centre for Peace Studies no longer has access to reception centres after the Ministry terminated their agreement in September 2018, while Are you Syrious also encountered problems in 2019 and did not have access to the Reception Centre in Zagreb for the first nine month of 2019 as their cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Interior was not renewed. However they managed to renew their agreement with the Ministry of Interior in September 2019.[2]

In 2020, due to COVID 19, access to the reception centres was restricted for persons who are not necessary for the normal functioning of the facilities.[3] At the beginning of the March 2020, Centre for Peace Studies (CPS) sent a letter to the Ministry of Interior with a proposal to conclude again an agreement that would allow CPS’s access to Reception Centres in Zagreb and Kutina and the implementation of activities. However  they did not receive any response from the Ministry.[4]

As of mid-March 2020, due to pandemic, access to reception centres of applicants of international protection was restricted, with the exception of persons who ensure the normal functioning of the facilities and civil society organisations had to stop their activities in the centres. Only employees of the Ministry of Interior, the Croatian Red Cross and Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World – MdM) could access the facilities.

 

 

[1]  Article 56 (2) LITP.

[2] N1, ‘The Ministry of Interior does not allow refugee children to learn Croatian, and they do not want to say why’, 30 May 2019, available in Croatian at: https://bit.ly/2UNqJUk; N1, ‘Are You Syrious returns to Porin, helping children again’, 12 September 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/2JKHBEQ.

[3] EMN, Special Annex to the 30th EMN Bulletin EU Member States & Norway: responses to COVID-19 in the migration and asylum area, January – March 2020, available at: https://bit.ly/3sypjKV.

[4] Information provided by the Centre For Peace studies, 22 January 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