Migration

Monday, 10 November 2014

Praxis at Training on Migration and International Human Rights Law

In the period from 3-6 November 2014, the third training on migration and international human rights law was held in Arandjelovac in the organization of OSCE, Group 484 and International Commission of Jurists. The representatives of Praxis took part in the training, in addition to many representatives of non-governmental sector from the country and the region and representatives of state institutions.

The training included the following subjects: entry and stay of migrants, concept of international protection: refugee status, temporary, complementary and discretionary protection, well-founded fear of persecution, exclusion clauses and the principle of "non refoulement", the detention of migrants and unaccompanied minors. Each subject was covered through the lecture of Massimo Frigo from the International Commission of Jurists, and the exercise with a view to the practical application of international and EU regulations.

During the lecture on well-founded fear of prosecution as a necessary condition for obtaining refugee status, it was emphasized that the subjective feeling of the asylum seeker and his/her arguments for the presence of a "reasonable fear" are taken into account when assessing his/her application for asylum. In addition, it is irrelevant whether an asylum seeker really belongs to a particular group for which he/she may be persecuted, but whether the persecutor is considered to belong to this social group.

The question of detention is particularly important from the aspect of principles governing the detention, and the right guaranteed to detainees. Every arrested person must be informed at the time of his/her arrest about the reasons for his/her arrest and any charge brought against him/her, because no one may be arbitrarily arrested or detained. During the lecture, Massimo Frigo also pointed at the problematic article 15 of the EU Directive on return (2008/115/EC), which provides for the authorization of a member state that, unless in a particular case when it cannot apply some other effective but less coercive measures, it may keep in detention a third-country national who is the subject of the return procedure in order to prepare the return and/or implement a process of expulsion, especially when there is a risk that the person will escape or slows down the process of preparation of return or expulsion.

The training was complete with the lecture of Milena Petrovic form UNHCR in Serbia about UNHCR guidelines on the treatment of unaccompanied minors. According to the basic principles, an unaccompanied minor should not be denied an access to the territory, but it is necessary to establish whether a child is separated from parents or unaccompanied or an asylum seekers, and it is necessary to appoint a guardian or a councellor who is responsible and competent to represent the best interests of a child, a legal representative and to adjust communication to the age. The applications for asylum status submitted by unaccompanied minors are a priority. The permanent solution may be local integration or resettlement to the third country in order to connect families. The solution for those who do not meet criteria is the return while detention of minors may be the last possible measure with an indication to be determined in the shortest period of time.

In the end it was once again confirmed, as in the case of adult asylum seekers in Serbia, not only that there is little accommodation capacities but also those that exist are not in accordance with the needs of accommodation of unaccompanied minors.

* All terms used in the masculine grammatical gender shall include the male and female individuals to which they relate.

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