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Monday, 14 October 2013

Impossibility of Internally Displaced Persons from Kosovo to Regulate Residence in Serbia

A great number of internally displaced persons from Kosovo, mainly of Roma ethnicity, who have permanent residence registered in Kosovo, do not have the possibility to register temporary residence in the places in which they live in Serbia. This is due to the lack of legal basis of housing since they often live in informal settlements or housing units that are not registered in the cadastre and, thus, find themselves outside the system of health and social protection.

Registered permanent residence in Kosovo deprives them of the possibility to register residence at the address of the social welfare centre in the territory where they actually live, as per the provisions of the Law on Permanent and Temporary Residence of Citizens. According to the interpretation of the Ministry of Interior, they would not be able to take advantage of this legally prescribed possibility even if they deregistered permanent residence in Kosovo.

Such a situation clashes with the very definition of permanent residence, regulated by the Article 3 of the Law on Permanent and Temporary Residence of Citizens, since the centre of their life activities, professional, social and other relations is in the place where they actually live.

The problem is even more serious as it affects a great number of children who do not have access to health protection.

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