The most recent UNHCR data shows that the number of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Serbia in the last days of May was 6,658. It is by seven hundred less than just a month before, and around a thousand less than the situation in March. More than six thousand persons or around 94 percent were accommodated in one of five asylum centres or thirteen reception centres during May. The middle of the month saw the demolition of barracks near main bus station in Belgrade, where more than thousand refugees and migrants resided for several months in the conditions that can be described as humiliating and inhumane. Vast majority of these persons, mainly from Afghanistan and Pakistan, among which many children, voluntarily went to reception centres.
When it comes to the asylum procedure, the Asylum Office did not produce nether one positive decision since the beginning of the year. At the other hand, two asylum claims were rejected and eighteen were refused, most often by automatic application od safe third country concept. This means that the asylum claim can be refused if the asylum seeker, prior to entering Serbia, crossed the territory of a country that the Government of Serbia deems safe (those are all neighboring countries). While making these decisions, the Asylum Office does not acquire any guarantees that the refused asylum seekers will be accepted in the countries they have crossed to enter Serbia, nor that they will be enabled to access the asylum procedure. This practice leaves refugees in Serbia without the possibility of acquiring international protection in Serbia and the “safe” third countries to which they cannot return legally.
Total of 577 persons expressed their intention to seek asylum in Serbia in May. Among them majority was from Afghanistan (73.8%), followed by nationals of Pakistan, Syria and Iraq. Asylum seekers in May were mostly men (95%). Of total number of asylum seekers in May, 326 were children, among which eleven were unaccompanied by their parents or guardians. Similar to previous months, these children mostly came from Afghanistan. During May, the Asylum Office registered ten asylum seekers and nine asylum applications were submitted by the persons from Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Turkey. At the same time, three interviews were conducted on the asylum claims by three persons from Pakistan. Moreover, the Asylum Office made two decisions refusing the asylum claims by four asylum seekers.