The Asylum Act explicitly envisages that, in the course of the asylum procedure the specific circumstances of certain categories requiring special procedural or reception guarantees will be taken into consideration. This category includes minors, unaccompanied minors, persons with disabilities, elderly persons, pregnant women, single parents with minor children, victims of trafficking, severely ill persons, persons with mental disorders, and persons who were subjected to torture, rape, or other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence, such as women who were victims of female genital mutilation.
Screening of vulnerability
Article 17 of the Asylum Act envisages that the procedure for identifying the personal circumstances of a person is carried out by the competent authorities on a continuous basis and at the earliest reasonable time after the initiation of the asylum procedure, or the expression of the intention to submit an asylum application at the border or in the transit zone.
However, it is still not entirely clear in which form the Asylum Office, Asylum Commission or Administrative Court determine that an asylum seeker is in need of special procedural or reception guarantees, i.e. whether this should be declared through separate decision, or this fact will be indicated during the asylum interview. Yet, in several decisions which were related to UASC, the first instance authority explicitly stated that special procedural and reception guarantees were secured in UASC’s cases since they were appointed legal guardian, legal representative and were accommodated in social care institution designated for children. This practice continued in 2021 as well.
However, it has become undisputable in 2020 that certain types of vulnerabilities should be identified by other state institutions, while asylum authorities should take these in consideration during the decision-making process, which so far has been the case only with regards to UASC and victims of human trafficking. The best interest determination assessment (BID) which is accompanied by a BID decision is conducted by the Social Welfare Centres (under the supervision of IDEAS – implementing partner of UNHCR). However, CSOs also provide its findings and expert opinions for the purpose of asylum procedure. Psychological reports are mainly provided by PIN, but also International Aid Network (IAN). Reports with regards to persons at risk of SGBV or SGBV survivors are provided by DRC, mental health assessment by psychiatric clinics, human trafficking assessment by the Government’s Centre for Human Trafficking Victims’ Protection (CHTV), and forensic medical reports by forensic medical experts hired by CSOs, etc. Victims of human trafficking or SGBV are accommodated in safe houses of CSO ATINA.
Regardless of the type of vulnerability, the common feature of all kinds of screening mechanisms is that they largely depend on the work and referrals made by different CSOs, but are conducted in cooperation with different state institutions. Thus, the State support system can be described as partially effective with regards to UASC and survivors of human trafficking, and strongly dependant on limited resources of CSOs who assist USAC, victims of trafficking in human beings, victims of SGBV, persons with health and mental issues, torture victims, etc. It should be also born in mind that the capacities of CSOs are also limited and not always of the highest quality. For that reason, it is safe to say that only small number of vulnerable persons that may be in need of international protection receive the comprehensive support and mainly after they are introduced in asylum procedure. For those persons who are in need of international protection but are not registered as asylum seekers, the limited support is almost exclusively provided by CSOs. However, the past several years has shown some improvements in the joint work of state institutions and CSOs.
Unaccompanied and separated children
UASCs who decided to apply for asylum undergo a detailed vulnerability assessment through the Best Interest Determination Procedure conducted by the CSW. BID is requested either by the Asylum Office or by legal representatives and then are used, processed and cited in the decision-making process.
The Family Law stipulates that everyone is obliged to be guided by the best interests of the child in all activities concerning the child. The Social Protection Act (SPA), as one of the principles of social protection, prescribes the best interest of beneficiaries, as well as the right of beneficiaries to participate in decision-making. The legislative framework also explicitly stipulates that the UASC case manager and the supervisor from the CSW must respect the best interests of the beneficiaries in all proceedings. Also, the Asylum Act stipulates that all activities carried out with the child must be in accordance with the best interests of the child.
The relevant framework does not define the procedure for assessing the best interests of the child, but the Centre for Social Work, as a guardianship authority, is responsible for making decisions on protection of children’s rights and best interests. All professional and legal decisions are rendered in the process which is called the case management method. When CSW identifies UASC, the caseworker shall instantly initiate the procedure of the case management which starts with the official activity which is called initial assessment. The initial assessment is performed in order to determine the further content of support to the child and the facts collected during the initial assessment are the basis for future decision-making, including decision on BID. In this sense, the case management process is established as a basis for assessing the best interest of a child, including for the purpose of asylum procedure. Finally, the relevant CSW provides a BID which is drafted in the form of Expert Opinion on an individual applicant.
Thus, in practice, only UASC who have a genuine desire to apply for asylum in Serbia undergo a detailed vulnerability and needs assessment, which in the best-case scenario is concluded with the best interest determination assessment (BID). According to the UNHCR, 1,133 UASC were recorded entering on Serbian territory in 2021, but only 60 of them were issued with the registration certificate, and only eight effectively lodged an application for international protection. Out of the 60 children with a registration certificate, almost all received a more detailed support, while at least 30 underwent best interest assessments (BIA). Thus, substantial support was provided to less than 3% of all recorded USAC. BID decisions were rendered in 5 instances, and in relation to UASC who applied for asylum or temporary residence on humanitarian grounds.
Survivors of human trafficking or persons at risk of human trafficking
Also, CHTV can be considered as an authority that can contribute to the effective implementation of Article 17 of the Asylum Act. In 2021, CHTV identified only 1 person who belongs to refugee population as a survivor of human trafficking – unaccompanied girl from Eritrea. Still, in the vast majority of cases, CSOs are those who report alleged cases of human trafficking. According to Astra ( CSO specialised in providing assistance to the victims), Serbia does not have an official procedure for the victim’s identification.
If a police officer, CSO, or any other entity assumes that a person in need of international protection is a victim of human trafficking, they are obliged to immediately inform the CSW and the CHTV, who then take measures to take care of the alleged victim. The CHTV will then start the process of identifying the victim and at the same time inform the Ministry of the Interior about the initiation of the identification procedure. The CHTV then renders a decision on the recognized status of the victim of human trafficking which is then used during the course of asylum procedure.
Asylum seekers with mental health issues and torture victims
The psychological assessment for the purpose of asylum procedure is usually conducted by the Psychosocial Innovation Network (PIN) and IAN (implementing partners of UNHCR in 2021). In 2021 PIN has identified, assisted, counselled and further referred 513 asylum seekers, refugees and migrants (403 male and 110 female), including 88 UASC (78 boys and 10 girls). PIN also provides group support to UASCs. PIN’s psychologist also assisted 13 visits to specialised institutions for mental health and has been a focal point for mental health protection of refugees at 5 asylum/reception centres (ACs Krnjača, Banja Koviljača, Tutin and Sjenica and RC Sid), and at 4 out of 5 shelters for UASC in Belgrade and Loznica. In 2021, PIN performed 20 psychological assessments in total. Most of them, 16, were conducted for the purpose of asylum procedure and upon request of legal representatives from BCHR, HCIT and IDEAS. Two assessments were conducted as additional psychological reports for the asylum procedure requested by legal representatives, 1 report was drafted as a supporting document for other legal proceedings requested by legal representatives, while 1 report was compiled upon request of the medical team in RC Šid for the purpose of referring a beneficiary to psychiatric examination. In total 18 reports were submitted to the Asylum Office with an aim to indicate the level and type of psychological vulnerability of the person of concern.
According to PIN’s 5-year research published in 2019 and conducted in partnership with UNHCR, between 79% and 89% of refugees in Serbia are in need of psychological assistance and support as evidenced by the mental health screenings. Prevalence of depression and anxiety related difficulties varied from 35%-48% to 29%-37% over the years, while the number of those experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder related difficulties ranged from 19% to 28%.
As a response to the identified needs, standards for mental health protection of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in Serbia are defined in Guidance for protection and improvement of the mental health of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Serbia, issued in 2018 by the WHO Office in Serbia, with PIN as one of the authors, and adopted by the Ministry of Health and Commissariat for Refugees and Migration. In line with these standards, mental health protection services should be delivered on four levels – initial screening, prevention activities, psychological interventions, and psychiatric care. It is recommended that these services are available through the public healthcare system, while civil society organisations would fill in the gaps in line with identified needs. The four layers of screening are yet to take place in practice.
At this moment, all asylum and reception centres in Serbia are covered with medical teams (medical doctor and nurse), while 5 out of 18 centres have a psychologist as a part of the medical team who represents a focal point for mental health protection services. In the remaining 10 centres, psychological services are provided by CSOs (PIN, Indigo, and Group 484), while at the moment 3 centres are without available psychological services except for PIN’s online support program (Preševo, Sombor and Bosilegrad).
In collaboration with CRM, PIN established a national coordination mechanism – Working Group for Protection and Improvement of Mental Health of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants, that gathers representatives of governmental institutions, international agencies and NGOs involved in mental health protection of refugees and migrants in Serbia, as well as International Consortium on Refugees’ and Migrants’ Mental Health (CoReMH). The goal is to gather experts that will work together towards establishing a common framework for the provision of mental health and psychosocial services to the refugee, asylum seeker and migrant populations on the European transit route.
When it comes to the vulnerability assessment of torture victims, it is usually conducted by CSOs who have funds for forensic medical or psychiatric examinations. These reports are then delivered to the Asylum Office.
Persons at risk of SGBV and SGBV survivors
In 2021, DRC has implemented projects, which aimed to provide assistance to SGBV survivors in refugee and asylum seekers’ population. This organisation was the only one who provided legal assistance to the refugees and asylum seekers in cases of SGBV in 2021. Additionally, DRC established the first Women Safe Space inside Asylum Center in Krnjača. The space has been used by 3 organisations (DRC, ADRA and Atina) where they conducted activities raising awareness of women rights and to provide direct assistance to the beneficiaries. Community based protection has been integral part of DRC field activities and therefore DRC trained three female asylum seekers to be gender focal points in AC Krnjača.
Within cases identified by DRC in 2021, specific follow-up was conducted in relation to 31 SGBV survivors. When it comes to forms of violence, DRC Protection Team has identified 16 cases of domestic violence, 13 cases of sexual violence (of which 2 cases of sexual exploitation) and 2 cases of sexual harassment. DRC Legal Counsellor (part time presence) provided legal counselling to all 31 SGBV survivors, lodged 6 criminal complaints, and 3 lawsuits and represented 8 SGBV survivors before relevant institutions. Upon the request of the legal representatives, DRC wrote expert opinions for three SGBV survivors, that were required for their asylum procedure.
In 2021, a total number of 132 female POCs participated in 30 awareness-raising activities on the following topics: position of women, minors and other vulnerable categories of population in asylum proceedings; status and rights of asylum seekers and refugees in Serbia – legislation and practice; family law in Serbia, prevention and protection against SGBV including information regarding existing legislation, COVID-19 preventive measures, information regarding immunisation, reproductive health, access to the health system in Serbia, etc.
With changes of nationalities of applicants accommodated in AC Krnjača, the reported forms of GBV has changed as well. The survivors from Burundi, and other African countries such as Cameroon, reported torture as a main reason for leaving their country and that torture in majority of the cases included group raping by the military forces. That was a main reason for increasing number of identified cases of sexual violence.
When it comes to the response of the mandatory institutions, DRC Protection Team noticed that practice varies from location to location and depends on who reported the violence. Police immediately reacted in cases when violence happened within the asylum centre and was reported by SCRM as a state institution.
Excessive length of asylum procedure, negative decisions rendered without SGBV safeguards, as well as challenges with regards inclusion and integration (employment, housing, child care, etc) accompanied with a pressure by their families in countries of origin, have been a driving force for the majority of the SGBV survivors to continue risky journey towards EU countries. The lack of an independent life due to the fact that the majority of women were not able to go to school and had no job experience were the main causes for reconciliation with their abusive partners. Further, lack of childcare support for single mothers has been a huge obstacle in searching for employment. DRC /UNHCR Protection Team identified two cases of survival sex due to lack of money for the basic needs.
It is important to mention that provided statistics took into account the form of violence that was primarily identified. Unfortunately, in-depth work with SGBV survivors showed that majority of them suffered multiplied forms of violence. For instance, one case showed that a woman was trafficked and sexually exploited before she met her abusive partner. In the other case, which involved rape, survivor lived with the abusive partner and escaped from the perpetrator, but was later on raped on the way to Europe. Furthermore, vast majority of identified SGBV survivors were married before 18 and those marriages were arranged.
When it comes to the response of the State institutions, DRC outlined that the practice varies from one location to another, which implies that CRM staff is lacking training and knowledge on SGBV. Prejudices among professionals toward asylum seeking and refugee women in regard to their culture and origin prevail in many facilities, affecting the timely reactions to SGBV.
The majority of SGBV incidents happened during late evening hours or weekends, when specialised organisations or institutions like social welfare centres were not present. Response usually depends on knowledge and believes of persons who are on duty in reception facilities. In almost all cases police was informed, but practice shows that further prosecution still depends on willingness of the survivor to testify even though it is not mandatory by the law. The Public Prosecutor usually drops the charges after the survivor refuses to testify, the professionals do not take into consideration the existence of other evidence, like medical certificate of injuries and testimonies of other witnesses, etc.
On the other side, there are challenges in psychosocial support of the survivors as well. The survivors usually lack information about their rights and existing support services. Furthermore, according to the relevant legal framework, after receiving the report of SGBV case, SWC is obliged to conduct the interview with survivor and to prepare an individual plan of measures and services for each SGBV survivor including the plan for their family members. The survivor has the right to participate in the creation of the plans and to be informed about the measures and services which are written within the plan in a language that she understands. According to DRC experience, in almost all cases the survivors were not informed about the plans and measures prescribed by SWC. DRC was the only organization who provided legal assistance to the refugees and asylum seekers in cases of SGBV.
In 2020, lockdowns, quarantines, and other movement restrictions during the State of Emergency have also disrupted access to police, legal, and social service, as well as access to counselling, safe shelters, medical treatment, and sexual and reproductive health services. The COVID-19 pandemic has further deteriorated the situation of SGBV survivors. First, survivors were stuck with their perpetrators in overcrowded centres due to the lockdown. Second, a majority of institutions and organisations suspended their activities in the field following the imposed measures in order to prevent further spreading of infectious disease. DRC Protection Team was in contact with two SGBV survivors who suffered domestic violence during the state of emergency. One case was recorded in AC Banja Koviljaca and another in AC Krnjaca. In both cases institutions were involved – CRM separated spouses in different rooms, SWC conducted the interview with SGBV survivor in AC Banja Koviljača while in AC Krnjača police intervened. Due to the pressure of their families, both survivors decided to reconcile with their spouses which results in dropping off charges against perpetrators. It is worth mentioning that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during the state of emergency almost all court hearings were postponed. However, cases related to domestic violence, determination of preventive measures, minors were excluded from that decision.
Accordingly, CSOs who provide legal and other assistance to asylum seekers are the ones who usually provide care to vulnerable applicants in terms of referral to appropriate accommodation, medical care, psychological or other needs assessment. Also, the fact that asylum authorities have recognised asylum seeker’s vulnerability (age, state of health or other vulnerability) can mainly be found in positive decisions of the Asylum Office, while the decisions rejecting their asylum applications usually disregard the vulnerabilities of the minor applicants put forward by their legal representatives.
Identification and Age assessment of unaccompanied children
Serbia considers as an unaccompanied child “a foreigner who has not yet reached eighteen years of age and who, at the time of entry into the Republic of Serbia or upon having entered it, is not accompanied by their parents or guardians.”
Although the Asylum Act prescribes that children for whom it can be determined reliably and unambiguously to be under 14 years of age shall not be fingerprinted at registration, it is not prescribed how the age would be established, leaving it up to the competent authorities to arbitrarily ascertain the age of persons lacking personal documents form the country of origin. On 16 September 2020, IDEAS has received a legal opinion from the Ministry of Justice in which it was stated that Serbia does not have an age assessment procedure in its legal framework.
According to the current legal framework, the MoI and the social protection system are primarily responsible for protecting the rights of unaccompanied and separated children in Serbian asylum system, but also the health care system plays significant role. In line with the MoI Instruction on Standard Operating Procedures for Profiling, Search and Registration of Irregular Migrants (SoP), during the first contact with the child (at the border or within mainland), the police officer is obliged to determine whether there is an urgent need for health care provision and if so, the police officer is obliged to contact the competent health-care services. Also, an UASC identified at the border shall not be served with a decision on refusal of entry but will receive decision granting him or her entry.
The identification of UASC, which includes the assessment of the child’s age, is done through the procedure of verification and identification, which is performed by a police officer. Identity verification is performed through inspection of an identification document which contains photograph, or exceptionally, based on the statement of the person whose identity has been verified. Regarding UASC who does not have identification document, and if identity cannot be verified in another way, identity will be determined by using data from forensic records, applying methods and using means of criminal tactics and forensics, medical or other appropriate expertise. In order to establish their identity, the child can be brought to the official premises of the police. The police officer is obliged to inform the child, when bringing him, about the reasons for bringing him, the right to inform the family or other persons of their choice and other rights of persons deprived of liberty and in a language that the child understands.
When a police officer determines that an individual is UASC, they are obliged to compile a report which also contains the identity determined in line with the above-described methods, which in practice is only the statement of a child, unless he or she has a document. This report should be then submitted to the competent Center for Social Work (CSW) in order for a child to be taken over by the social-care system. A police officer shall contact a representative of the CSW without a delay, if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person in case is a child and in order to gather additional information important to establish facts from their life and provide adequate protection.
On the basis of Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Ministry for Social Affairs, IDEAS has been conducting supervision of all social care workers in Serbia working with UASC. This assistance implies counselling on individual cases, providing general guidelines and assistance in conducting BID. Thus, out of 1,133 children recorded in 2021, only 60 were registered, 8 lodged asylum application, while the rest remained in legal limbo, being at risk of being issued with expulsion order or penalised in the misdemeanour proceeding. Moreover, since registration certificate does not provide for any legal status, even the children issued with this document were in the same situation as those children who were not registered at all.
The screening of USAC vulnerability is conducted by the temporary legal guardians of IDEAS – an implementing partner of UNHCR and legal guardians funded by IOM and who were deployed from IDEAS in 2020. However, this is not done in line with Article 17 of the Asylum Act, but in line with the Family Act and social care professional standards. The Asylum Office did not submit any request for BID in 2021 and in general, 2021 was the year in which only few UASC applied for asylum – only 8. Thus, the age is determined on the basis of the statement of a child. What is also a concerning practice is that MoI officers who are tasked with issuing of the registration certificates usually ask children how old they are. When a child says the number of years, the police officer then subtracts that number from the number of the given year (e.g. 2021) and puts 1 January as a date of birth. This practice is not in line with the principle of in dubio pro reo, i.e. the principle of the benefit of the doubt established by the CRC. Thus, if a child who is 17 arrives in Serbia in 2021, his date of birth would be set at 1 January 2004. Thus, this child would be considered as an adult on 1 January 2022. However, what if this child was born in December of 2004? This means that a person under the age of 18 would be treated as adult, which is contrary to Asylum Act, Constitution and international standards. The benefit of the doubt criterion would be respected only if the registration certificate would outline 31 December of the given year.
To reiterate, there is no proper or developed method for ascertaining the asylum seekers’ age, meaning that the asylum seeker’s word and the official’s personal observations are the only criteria for identifying minors in the greatest number of cases. On 4 April 2018, the Ministry of Labour, Employment, veteran and Social Affairs adopted the Instruction on Procedures of Social Work Centres which envisages that the field social worker is in charge for identifying and coordinating support to USAC as long as the child is not put under the jurisdiction of professional social worker.
Still, the identification of unaccompanied minors continues to be done on the spot by officials (most often police officers) and CSO employees, establishing first contact with potential asylum seekers The SWC are understaffed and they usually react when the MoI or CSO inform them on a USAC’s presence at the territory of Serbia. Thus, it is clear that a large number of children residing in Serbia have never been recorded and that the numbers published by different state authorities, but also non-state entities (CSOs, UNHCR, IOM) significantly differ. The Committee on the Rights of the Child, and the Human Rights Committee, underlined these problems as well. During 2021, there were two cases in which the age assessment arose as a problem. One case refers to an Afghan boy who suffers from serious psychiatric condition and who was shortly deprived of legal guardianship, on the basis of the flawed assessment of his age. IDEAS and PIN intervened and the boy was later on put under temporary guardianship and submitted his asylum application with the help of IDEAS multidisciplinary team. In other case, a boy from Guinea, is still deprived of temporary guardianship. The Social Welfare centre in Belgrade is still reluctant to accept the boy’s statement that he is underage without conducting any kind of age assessment procedure.
An additional problem the authorities face in identifying USAC lies in the fact that minors often travel in groups together with adults, making it difficult for the police to ascertain whether or not they are travelling together with their parents or legal guardians.
In 2021, IDEAS tried to challenge the practice of ‘age assessment’ conducted by police officers issuing registration certificates. By invoking of the benefit of the doubt principle, IDEAS lawyers requested from the Asylum Office to issue registration certificates of two boys – Pakistan and Afghanistan – on 31 December of the year in which they were born, not on 1 January as it had already been done. They invoked the practice of the CRC and its General Comments. However, both of these requests were rejected as unfounded by both Asylum Office and Asylum Commission.
Over the course of 2021, the asylum authorities issued registration certificates to a total of 60 UASC, out of a total of 1,133 registered arrivals. The remaining children were travelling with their family members and relatives. However, bearing in mind the above-mentioned challenges in identifying UASC, their real number is without any doubt far greater and it is undisputable fact that the vast majority of UASC reside on Serbian territory unregistered and, thus, at risk of being treated as irregular migrants and forcibly removed. In order to encourage more UASC to register their stay in Serbia, IDEAS, DRC and CRPC has facilitated several trainings with UASC who were granted asylum in Serbia and who will act as peer educators for newly arrived children. This activity continued in 2021.
 Article 17(1) and (2) Asylum Act.
 Article 17(3) Asylum Act.
 Asylum Office, Decision No. 2573/19, 15 October 2020, Decision No. 26-374/19, 14 February 2020 and Decision No. 26-1946/18, 9 October 2020.
 See for instance: Asylum Office, Decision No. 26–3064/19, 14 September 2021.
 Article 6 (1) Family Law.
 Article 26 and 35 Social Protection Act.
 Article 30 and 32 Rulebook on the Work of Centre for Social Work
 Article 10 Asylum Act.
 Article 48 Rulebook on the Work of Centre for Social Work.
 Only 20 in 2019, and for the purpose of asylum procedure.
 Only 20 in 2019, and for the purpose of asylum procedure.
 The difference between BIA and BID can be found in UNHCR, Guidelines on Assessing and Determining the Best Interests of the Child, November 2018, available at: https://bit.ly/2WaByiA, 30 and 44-45.
 Article 62 Social Protection Act.
 Vukćević Marković, M., Stanković, I., Živić, I., Stojadinović, I., Todorović, A., Šapić, D. & Bjekić, J. (2020). Mental health of refugees and migrants. Research report. Serbia, Belgrade: Psychosocial Innovation Network.
 Svetozarević, S., Vukčević, Marković, M., Pejušković, B., & Simonović, P. (2019). Guidance for protection and improvement of mental health of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in republic of Serbia. Serbia, Belgrade: World Health Organization, available at: https://bit.ly/3r7wBEZ.
 Information obtained by PIN.
 According to the CRM, 10 cases of domestic violence were reported to the Public Prosecutor Office.
 Article 2 Asylum Act.
 Article 35(6) Asylum Act.
 Ministry of Justice, Legal Opinion No. 011-00-125/2020-05, 16 September 2020.
 Page 20 SoP.
 Article 15 Foreigners Act.
 Article 76 Police Act.
 Article 77 Police Act.
 Article 12 (2) Rulebook on Police Powers.
 Article 85 Police Act.
 Which is usually not the case taking in consideration that the cast majority of children are UASC.
 Article 12 (2) Rulebook on Police Powers.
 All the information was obtained from IDEAS.
 CRC, General comment No. 6 (2005): Treatment of Unaccompanied and Separated Children Outside their Country of Origin, 1 September 2005, CRC/GC/2005/6, dostupno na: https://bit.ly/2KIs2S5, u daljem tekstu: Opšti komentar br. 6.
 There is no record that an age assessment procedure has ever been conducted in line with the Family Act.
 Instruction on Procedures of Social Work Centres – Guardianship Authorities for the Accommodation of Unaccompanied Migrant/Refugee Children, Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, No. 019–00–19/2018–05.
 Section II, para. 2 of the Instruction on Procedure of Social Work Centres.
 BCHR, Right to Asylum in the Republic of Serbia 2019, 97-98.
 CRC, Concluding observations on the combined second and third periodic reports of Serbia, 7 March 2017, CRC/C/SRB/CO/2-3, 56-57.
 HRC, Concluding observations on the third periodic report of Serbia, 10 April 2017, CCPR/C/SRB/CO/3, para. 32-33.
 CRC, A.B v. Spain, Decision of 7 February 2020, CRC/C/83/D/24/2017, available at: https://bit.ly/3kbTzsh, para. 10.4; N.B.F. v. Spain, Decision of 18 February 2019, CRC/C/79/D/11/2017, available at: https://bit.ly/37Dm1hF, para. 8; A.D v. Spain, Decision of 14 August 2019, CRC/C/80/D/14/2017, available at https://bit.ly/3aJuGkw, para. 10.4 and General comment No. 6 (2005): Treatment of Unaccompanied and Separated Children Outside their Country of Origin, 1 September 2005, CRC/GC/2005/6.
 Asylum Office, Decisions Nos. 26-3229/19, 21 May 2021 and 26-11/21, 13 April 2021.
 Asylum Commission, Decision No. AŽ 09/21, 5 July 2021.