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 or survivors of trafficking in human beings, 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.
However, it remains unclear how in practice and in which kind of specific procedure relevant asylum authorities are conducting vulnerability assessments, what kind of decision do they render and how they design special and individualised programmes for meeting the special needs of the above-enlisted categories in different contexts (accommodation, provision of psycho-social support, provision of medical support, in asylum or integration procedure, etc.).
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.
As already outlined, it is still not entirely clear in which form the Asylum Office, Asylum Commission or Administrative Court determines that an asylum seeker is in need of special procedural guarantees. It is also not clear how and when does CRM start the vulnerability assessment for special reception guarantees. Accordingly, the practice has shown that vulnerability assessments for the purpose of procedural or reception guarantees have never been conducted through a special procedure or through a separate decision which is rendered in some sort of procedure. It is also not clear if the CRM has any role in that regards, and in relation to reception guarantees, but the practice has shown that many vulnerable applicants have never benefitted from special reception guarantees.
What can be safely claimed is the fact is that the Asylum Office has been so far the only asylum authority which highlighted vulnerabilities of certain applicants in the reasoning of its decisions. In almost all decisions related to UASCs, the first instance authority explicitly stated that special procedural and reception guarantees were secured in UASC’s cases since they were appointed a legal guardian, a legal representative and were accommodated in social care institution designated for children. This practice has remained unchanged in all of the UASC cases which were positively decided in 2022.
And indeed, accommodation of children in specialised social care institutions reflects special reception guarantees, while the appointment of the temporary legal guardian provides for the additional procedural security in asylum, but also other procedures. In all of these decisions, Asylum Office invoked Article 10 of the Asylum Act (best interest of a child principle) and Article 17 (special procedural guarantees).
Also, it has become undisputable since 2020, and in some of the cases even earlier, that certain types of vulnerabilities should be, and in practice are, identified by other state institutions, but also CSOs. Identification of such vulnerabilities is done through different forms such as decisions, reports, findings or expert opinions. Asylum authorities have been taking these into consideration during the decision-making process, which so far has been the case predominately with regards to UASCs, but also other vulnerable applicants:
- UASC – 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). This decision contains description of different vulnerabilities which the temporary legal guardian, but also the case worker within the competent Social Welfare Centre, have determined.
- Victims or survivors of trafficking in human beings – decision on granting the status of the survivor of the trafficking in human beings which is conducted by the Government’s Centre for Human Trafficking Victims’ Protection (CHTV) and which contains relevant segments of applicants vulnerability.
- Sexual and gender-based violence report (SGBV report) – is only drafted and provided by the SGBV officer at the Dutch Refugee Council, Ms. Bojana Balević, which basically means that this kind of vulnerability assessment is conducted by one of the CSOs, not a state institution.
- Psychological reports – drafted and provided by CSOs PIN and IAN and which are frequently cited in positive decisions. This also means that psychological reports are provided mainly by CSOs.
- Psychiatric reports – drafted and provided by psychiatrists hired by PIN or IAN, and in rare situations by the State psychiatrist. The later one are usually provided in the form which is not suitable for the asylum authorities because very often they only contain the diagnosis and therapy, but not the causal link between the traumatic event which could amount to persecution and the symptoms which are being displayed or determined by the psychiatrist. This is not the case if CSO providing legal aid have funds for psychiatrists who are trained to provide reports in line with the Istanbul Protocol.
- Medical reports – provided by different medical institutions and professionals which can also be used to flag the vulnerability of applicants to the asylum authorities and which was the case in several positive decisions.
- Forensic medical reports – usually drafted and provided by forensic experts with extensive experience with torture survivors, but also the practice has shown that medical experts opinion were provided by psychiatrists, gynaecologist s(rape survivors) and infectious disease specialist (for HIV+ applicants).
As for the screening of the needs in terms of the special reception guarantees, it is safe to say that such screening does not exist, nor when the vulnerability is determined, special reception conditions are not provided for anyone except potentially for survivors of human trafficking and women at the imminent risk of SGBV (placed in CSO Atina’s safe house), and also those UASC who decided to apply for asylum. For all other categories, they are offered with regular accommodation unless they are not suffering for medical condition so serious that their health can significantly deteriorate of life can be threatened if not accommodated in medical institution.
Regardless of the type of vulnerability, the common feature of all kinds of screening mechanisms is that they largely depend on the work of and referrals made by different CSOs, but are in many cases conducted in cooperation with different state institutions. Thus, the State support system can be described as partially effective with regards to UASCs and survivors of human trafficking, and strongly dependant on limited resources of CSOs who assist UASC, survivors of trafficking in human beings, victims of SGBV, persons with health and mental issues, torture survivors, etc.
It should be also borne 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 or the support for these persons does not exist. However, the past several years has shown some improvements in the joint work of state institutions and CSOs.
Unaccompanied and separated children
UASCs who decide 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, 973 UASC were recorded entering Serbian territory in 2022, but only 82 of them were issued with the registration certificate, and only 4 effectively lodged an application for international protection. Out of the 82 children with a registration certificate, almost all received a more detailed support, while at least 25 underwent best interest assessments (BIA). Thus, substantial support was provided to less than 3% of all recorded UASC. BID decisions were rendered in 8 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 2022, CHTV identified only 3 persons who belong to the refugee population as a survivor of human trafficking – three women from Uganda, Cameroon and Burundi. Still, in the vast majority of cases, CSOs are the ones who report alleged cases of human trafficking. According to Astra (a 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 recognised 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 the asylum procedure is usually conducted by the Psychosocial Innovation Network (PIN) and IAN (implementing partner of UNHCR in 2022). In 2022, PIN and IAN identified, assisted, counselled and further referred several dozen asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. Several dozen psychological assessments was lodged to the Asylum Office for the purpose of asylum procedure, and upon the request of legal representatives.
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%. Similar findings are repeated almost every year.
As a response to the identified needs, standards for mental health protection of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in Serbia are defined in the 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.
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. In 2022, a total of 4 Istanbul Protocol Reports were drafted and submitted to the Asylum Office in relation to the individuals who were subjected to different forms of ill-treatment, as well as one psychological support for the transgender person from Cuba which was produced by the clinical psychologist for transgender persons.
Persons at risk of SGBV and SGBV survivors
In 2022, 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 2022 outside asylum procedure. Additionally, DRC established the first Women Safe Space inside Asylum Centre in Krnjača. The space was used by 3 organisations (DRC, ADRA and Atina) where they conducted activities raising awareness on women rights and provided 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. In 2022, DRC has identified 23 survivors of SGBV who had the status of asylum seekers, produced 7 SGBV reports and contributed to the positive decision of two applicants – 1 from Burundi and 1 from Afghanistan.
When it comes to the response of the competent 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 the asylum procedure, negative decisions rendered without SGBV safeguards, as well as challenges with regards to inclusion and integration (employment, housing, child care, etc) accompanied by pressure from their families in their countries of origin, have been a driving force for the majority of the SGBV survivors to continue their 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 basic needs.
It is important to mention that the 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 another case, which involved rape, the survivor lived with an abusive partner and escaped from them, but was later on raped on the way to Europe. Furthermore, the 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 with regard to their culture and origin prevail in many facilities, affecting the timely reactions to SGBV.
The majority of SGBV incidents in centres happened during late evening hours or weekends, when specialised organisations or institutions like social welfare centres were not present. The response usually depends on the knowledge and beliefs of persons who are on duty in reception facilities. In almost all cases the police was informed, but practice shows that further prosecution still depends on the willingness of the survivor to testify even though it is not mandatory by 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 an SGBV case, SWC is obliged to conduct the interview with the 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 they understand. According to DRC experience, in almost all cases the survivors were not informed about the plans and measures prescribed by SWC.
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 the asylum authorities have recognised an 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 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 the Serbian asylum system, but the health care system also plays a 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 the mainland), the police officer is obliged to determine whether there is an urgent need for provision of health care and if so, the police officer is obliged to contact the competent health-care services. Also, a UASC identified at the border shall not be served with a decision on refusal of entry but will receive a decision granting them 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 a photograph, or exceptionally, based on the statement of the person whose identity has been verified. Regarding UASC who do not have identification documents, and if the identity cannot be verified in another way, the 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. It is not clear what kind of tests and forensic analysis is implied through this provision because that kind of age assessment has never been performed. 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 them, about the reasons for bringing them, their right to inform 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 they have a document. This report should be then submitted to the competent Centre 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 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 the 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 973 children recorded in 2022, only 82 were registered, 4 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 the 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 UASC 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 2022 and in general, 2022 was the year in which only few UASC applied for asylum – only 4. 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 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 the Asylum Act, the 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 seeker’s 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 UASC 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 of a UASC’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 the other case, a boy from Guinea, has been finally appointed with a temporary guardian and was granted temporary residency on humanitarian grounds. 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 UASC 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 to two boys –from 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. The children eventually left Serbia and these cases were discontinued.
 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.
 For instance, Asylum Office, Decisions No. 4329/18, 26 December 2017 – person with the status of the victim of trafficking in human beings.
 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.
 UNHCR statistic are available at: https://bit.ly/2LkIrZY.
 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.
 CHTV, Annual Statistical Report, available at: https://bit.ly/3xCcp4D.
 Report on Trafficking in Persons: Serbia 2019, letter to US State Department, Astra (20 June 2019), available (in Serbian) at: http://bit.ly/3bVYqJI.
 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.
 PIN, Mental Health and Wellbeing of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Serbia 2022 Research Report, available at: https://bit.ly/41ERZUY.
 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.
 According to the CRM, 10 cases of domestic violence were reported to the Public Prosecutor Office.
 All the data on the work with SGBV asylum seekers was provided by the DRC Protection Team.
 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.