3 February The members of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality in meeting with the delegation of the OSCE PA Third Committee

3 February The members of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality in meeting with the delegation of the OSCE PA Third Committee

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality Committee Members Meet with OSCE PA Third Committee Delegation

The members of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality met with a delegation of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Third Committee, headed by Committee Chair Isabel Santos.


Speaking of Serbia’s role in the process of resolving the migrant crisis and the mechanisms applied to overcome it, the officials opined that the problem should be tackled at its source and urged the OSCE member states not to stop the refugees, but stop the war instead.

The Chairman and Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality Meho Omerovic informed the delegation of the OSCE PA Third Committee about the transit of migrants through Serbia, stressing that about 2,000 people enter Serbia on a daily basis, which is significantly less than the 11,000 daily entries Serbia experienced near the end of 2015. Serbia opened a refugee reception headquarters in Presevo, made considerable efforts to prevent illegal entries and was the first country on the Balkan route to introduce biometric registration of migrants. Serbia is doing all in its power to register the migrants and improve the asylum system, but the data shows that 99% of these people have no wish to remain in Serbia, stressed Omerovic.

“Since the beginning of the crisis Serbia has demonstrated a proactive approach in the protection of and assistance to the migrants. We have a humanitarian approach to these people because as a country we have witnessed turbulent migrations in the past”, said Omerovic.

The Chair of the OSCE PA Third Committee Isabel Santos emphasised the importance of Serbia’s role on the Balkan route not only because it accepted the migrants and opened itself up, but because it has begun to gather biometric data. She invited the Serbian colleagues to cooperate with OSCE member states on finding a solution to the migrant crisis, which is also a human rights issue.

The meeting, attended by members of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality Vera Paunovic, Elvira Kovacs, Vladica Dimitrov, Zlata Djeric, Olena Papuga, Biljana Hasanovic Korac, Ljiljana Malusic, Ljibuska Lakatos and Slobodan Peric, and representatives of OSCE PA Third Committee Delegation Ivana Dobesova, Gordana Comic and Ignacio Sanchez Amor, among other things touched on the legislative framework for the migrant issue in Serbia, the need to set up a biometric database of migrants at the EU borders, regional cooperation, status of migrants who do not have the right to asylum in EU countries, human trafficking, especially trafficking in children, etc.

The participants of the meeting concluded that there is will and readiness to address the migrant crisis with joint efforts, and opined that the way Serbia is addressing the crisis is a good example of how a country integrates in the EU.

The delegation of the OSCE PA Third Committee is visiting Serbia for the purpose of drafting a Report to be presented at the organisation’s regular annual session in July 2016.



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