Detention of vulnerable applicants


Country Report: Detention of vulnerable applicants Last updated: 10/07/24


Nikola Kovačević

The Asylum Act envisages that a person with specific circumstances and needs, as prescribed in Article 17, can be detained exclusively if it has been established, based on an individual assessment, that such measure is appropriate, taking into account their personal circumstances and needs, and particularly their health condition.[1] 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. So far, families and UASC have never been detained in the course of asylum procedure.

In December 2019, two UASC from Afghanistan were detained on security grounds,[2] but they were not registered as asylum seekers nor were they willing to apply for asylum. In other words, their detention was based on the Foreigners Act. However, it is rare in practice for children and families to be detained in the Detention Centre for Foreigners, regardless of their status – asylum seeker or a person in need of international protection who is not willing to apply for asylum. There were no recorded cases of vulnerable applicants, such as UASC, being detained in 2022.




[1] Article 80 Asylum Act.

[2] Information provided by CSO IDEAS.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection