The Belgrade Centre for Human Rights has published the sixth annual report on the right to asylum, containing an overview and analysis of the protection of refugees in Serbia in 2017. The majority of those in need of international protection in 2017 originated from countries that generate refugees, including individuals with special needs, victims of sexual and gender-based violence, and unaccompanied or separated children. The policies made in neighbouring countries and at the European level heavily influenced the position of individuals in need of international protection. Although previous year saw the largest number of approved asylum claims since the implementation of the Asylum Act, in 2017 only 14 positive decisions were made. The majority of government actions regarding refugees focused on humanitarian aid and accommodation, while structural solutions and clear migration policies were not implemented. Moreover, 2017 was marked by an unprecedented case of extradition of Cevdet Ayaz, a Kurd, Turkish national, who was in the asylum procedure not yet completed and despite the decision of the UN Committtee Against Torture, which issued an interim measure calling on the Serbian authorities to refrain from extradition of Ayaz to Turkey for realistic risk of him being subjected to torture or other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment in Turkey.

Download report here.