Types of accommodation

Serbia

Country Report: Types of accommodation Last updated: 30/11/20

Author

Belgrade Centre for Human Rights Visit Website

Both Asylum Centres and Reception Centres are established by the Government’s decision.[1] The work of Asylum Centres and Reception Centres is managed by the Commissariat.[2]

Persons entering the asylum procedure in Serbia are usually accommodated at one of the 5 asylum centres spread out across the country, but those asylum seekers who can afford to stay at a private residence may do so, should they so desire. These “asylum centres” should not be confused with the temporary reception centres that had been set up by the Government throughout 2015 in response to the mass influx of refugees and migrants transiting through Serbia, as they were not foreseen for the housing of persons seeking asylum in Serbia.

The major issue in 2019 was a lack of profiling and differentiation between those persons with a genuine interest in applying for asylum in Serbia, and those who simply want to be accommodated in one of the centres and apply for the list to enter Hungary. In fact, asylum seekers have been referred by immigration officers from all police departments to camps based on available capacity, and not on the basis of the assessment of their genuine wish to remain in Serbia. This practice has caused a situation in which genuine asylum seekers have been referred to reception centres where asylum procedure is rarely or (in some reception centres) never conducted, and vice versa.   

 

Asylum Centres

 

There were 5 active Asylum Centres in Serbia in 2019

Asylum Centre

Capacity

Banja Koviljača

120

Bogovađa

200

Tutin

200

Sjenica

250

Krnjača

1,000

Total

1,770

Only the Asylum Centre in Banja Koviljača is formally speaking a permanent centre; the other centres are ‘temporary’ locations for the housing of asylum seekers. The overall reception capacity of the Asylum Centres according to the Commissariat is 1,770. However, the capacity of the centres is estimated only by the number of available beds, rather than their overall facilities, including toilets, bathrooms and kitchens. All of the enumerated Asylum Centres are overcrowded, with a lack of privacy and poor hygienic conditions.

 

Temporary reception centres

 

Concerning the temporary reception centres, a number of these were opened by the Government of Serbia in the second half of 2015 in order to provide emergency reception conditions for persons who were entering Serbia in an irregular manner and are transiting towards their preferred destination countries in the European Union.

Reception Centres established in Serbia are the following: Preševo, Bujanovac, Vranje, Pirot, Dimitrovgrad, Bosilegrad, Šid, Principovac, Adaševci, Sombor, Subotica, Kikinda and Bela Palnaka (‘Divljana’). Bela Palanka and Dimitrovgrad were not active during 2019, while Preševo became operational in November 2019, hosting around 600 persons per day.

The respective capacity of the temporary reception centres is as follows:

 

Temporary reception centre

Border location

Capacity

Preševo

North Macedonia

900

Vranje

North Macedonia

220

Bujanovac

North Macedonia

220

Sombor

Croatia

120

Principovac

Croatia

150

Obrenovac

Belgrade

900

Adaševci

Croatia

450

Subotica

Hungary

130

Bela Palanka

Bulgaria

280

Dimitrovgrad

Bulgaria

90

Bosilegrad

Bulgaria

60

Pirot

Bulgaria

250

Kikinda

Romania

240

Šid

Croatia

210

Total

 

4,220



[1]           Article 51(2) and (3) Asylum Act.

[2]           Article 51(4) Asylum Act.

 

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