2008 Asylum Act stipulates that the Republic of Serbia, within its means, will provide conditions for the inclusion of refugees in the social, cultural and economic life and facilitate their naturalization (Article 46, Asylum Act); the manner in which this is to be done will be determined by the Government on the proposal of the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration (Article 16, Migration Management Act). Although the by-law should have been adopted shortly after the adoption of Migration Management Act, the Government adopted it only on 24 December 2016 and its implementation is expected in 2017.
By-law on the inclusion of persons granted refugee status in the social, cultural and economic life envisages a series of measures, as well as the creation of individual integration plan for recognized refugees in Serbia. By-law stipulates that the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration will cooperate with civil society organizations during the creation and implementation of these individual plans for integration.
Some of the specific measures aimed at integration of recognized refugees in the social, cultural and economic life in Serbia are organizing Serbian language classes, as well as assisting in exercising right to work. Knowledge of Serbian language is necessary prerequisite for exercising other rights, and the by-law stipulates that the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration will provide 300 classes of Serbian language to a recognized refugee; classes will be available to all persons, regardless of their age and education. Persons performing jobs requiring university degree may be provided with additional 100 Serbian language classes.
Persons granted refugee status can be admitted to Serbian language classes no later than two months starting from the date when the decision on asylum became legally binding. In addition to learning Serbian language, by-law stipulates also the assistance to recognized refugees with integration into the education system in Serbia in the form of provision of textbooks and school supplies, assistance in initiating the procedure of recognition of foreign diplomas, assistance in learning, financial assistance for the involvement in extracurricular activities. Having in mind that language classes are to be provided only in cases that there no more than two months have passed since the decision of granting the refugee status, this by-law on the integration is to be applied only with respect to persons who are to be granted refugee status from the moment when the by-law implementation begins.
By-law stipulates that the person who has been granted refugee status will be provided with assistance in access to labor market, in the form of: assistance in obtaining necessary documents required for registration with the National Employment Agency and private agencies for employment, assistance in initiating the procedure of recognition of foreign education documents, ensuring access to additional education and trainings in line with labor market needs and assistance in joining the active employment policy measures.
Photo: Stefanie Eisenschenk
Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, 101/16.