Short overview of the reception system


Country Report: Short overview of the reception system Last updated: 10/07/24


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The Ministry of the Interior, or more precisely its Service for reception and accommodation of applicants for international protection, is responsible for the reception of applicants for international protection and runs two Reception Centres for applicants for international protection, which are situated in Zagreb and Kutina. The total reception capacity of these two centres is 900 places (600 in Zagreb and 300 in Kutina).[1]

The highest number of applicants for international protection than ever before has been recorded in Croatia in 2023, which required great efforts to adapt the reception and accommodation conditions.

The Croatian Red Cross (CRC) reported that the biggest challenge during 2023 was the huge influx of newly arrived applicants for international protection in both Reception Centres for Applicants for International Protection. This required additional efforts and the involvement of all CRC’s employees in reception and accommodation activities to provide all applicants with beds, hygiene packages, bed linen packages, and clothes and shoes. Often, the influx of new applicants was over 150 in 24 hours, which resulted in their temporary accommodation on mattresses in the corridors until the beds in the rooms became available. As a result, difficulties in maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of the corridors inside the Reception Centre for Applicants for International Protection in Zagreb occurred, since the cleaners were not able to clean all the corridors because of the mattresses and applicants sleeping on them. In Kutina, the problem was partially solved by installing containers on the football field, where applicants were accommodated when all the sleeping capacities inside the Centre were filled. Also, a large number of applicants stayed in Centres just for a few days, and some stayed for less than 24 hours.[2]

As the largest number of persons expressed their intention to seek international protection during the summer, the reception capacities during that period were insufficient. This resulted in applicant’s complaints about inadequate conditions of accommodation. In accordance with the Ombudsman’s mandate, three inspections of Reception Centres for Applicants for International Protection were carried out by employees of Ombudsperson’s office in 2023. i.e., in Zagreb in June and September, and in Kutina in October 2023. In its annual report, the Ombudsperson reported about the inadequate conditions in Reception Centres at the time of visits (for example, accommodation on mattresses in the hallway; insufficient number of toilet spaces compared to the number of people being accommodated; dirty common premises due to overcapacity, lack of staff for maintenance, cleaning and laundry, etc).[3]

During 2023, the Directorate for European Affairs, International Relations and Funds of the European Union of the Ministry of Interior made two decisions on the allocation of additional financial resources for the implementation of the project aimed at maintaining an adequate level of accommodation in Reception Centres for Applicants for International Protection.[4]

In addition, in 2023, the Ministry of Interior announced a public call for offers regarding the properties for sale or lease for accommodation of at least 50 applicants for international protection.[5]

Applicants for international protection have the right to accommodation from the day of expressing the intention to apply for international protection until the enforceability of the decision on their application, if they do not have an adequate standard of living.[6]




[1] Information provided by the Ministry of Interior, 8 March 2024.

[2] Information provided by Croatian Red Cross, 15 January 2024.

[3] Ombudswoman: Report of the Ombudswoman for 2023, available in Croatian at:

[4] Ministry of Interior, decisions available in Croatian at:

[5] Ministry of Interior: Public call, available at:

[6] Article 7(1) Ordinance on the realisation of material reception conditions.

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