22 June 2010 Participants of the public hearing

22 June 2010 Participants of the public hearing

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Public Hearing on Exercising Refugee Rights in Countries of Origin Held at National Assembly

On 22 June, the Poverty Reduction Committee held its twenty-first sitting in the form of a public hearing on Exercising Refugee Rights in Countries of Origin.



On 22 June, the Poverty Reduction Committee held its twenty-first sitting in the form of a public hearing on Exercising Refugee Rights in Countries of Origin.

The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairperson Snezana Stojanovic-Plavsic and attended by Vladimir Cucic, Commissioner for Refugees, Dejan Kladarin, representative of the UNHCR Legal Protection Unit, Miodrag Linta, President of the Coalition of Refugee Associations in Serbia and Milojko Budimir, President of the Association of Refugee Societies and other societies of Serbs from Croatia.

Opening the gathering, Chairperson Stojanovic-Plavsic stressed that she had convened the Poverty Reduction Committee sitting on exercising refugee rights in their countries of origin on the occasion of 20 June, World Refugee Day and at the initiative of the Coalition of Refugee Associations in Serbia. She added that she was governed by the fact that the National Assembly had recently adopted a Law amending and modifying the Refugee Law regulating the issues of refugees and their integration in relation to the Law on Social Housing which also offers solutions to the refugees’ housing problems. She added that this is just one way of dealing with the large number of problems refugees face and that the manners in which they can exercise their rights in the countries of origin had not been sufficiently discussed so far, no matter whether they wish to return or not. At the International Conference on long-term solutions for refugees and internally displaced persons and cooperation between the countries in the region, held in Belgrade on 25 March this year, the foreign ministers of the countries from the region noted that the refugee problems are still extant, but also agreed on the resolution of the problem of exercising refugee rights in their countries of origin. Chairperson Stojanovic-Plavsic also stated that, following the country’s wish and intention to resolve this issue, the National Assembly wishes to give its contribution to these issues.

Addressing the participants, Dejan Kladarin, representative of the UNHCR Legal Protection Unit, stated that all international documents highlight the importance of returning the refugees their property, as well as the importance of realising their other rights. He added that UNHCR advocates finding lasting solutions to these issues, stressing that numerous international organisations, UNHCR, OSCE and European Union among them, have passed a document summarising the remaining refugee problems to be resolved and recommending specific solutions. He believes that regional cooperation on these issues needs to be intensified.

The gathering was also addressed by Miodrag Linta, President of the Coalition of Refugee Associations in Serbia and Milojko Budimir, President of the Association of Refugee Societies and other societies of Serbs from Croatia who listed their members’ objections to the cooperation between various associations and state institutions on resolving the refugees’ problems. They believe that the associations are ready to contribute to find a lasting solution to these problems.

Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cabinet of Deputy Prime Minister Jovan Krkobabic, in charge of refugee issues, took part in the discussion on the realisation of refugee rights in the countries of origin. They presented the results achieved in the previous period in finding lasting solutions to the refugee problems, adding that international organisations believe that the problems should be resolved according to the Sarajevo Declaration, and said that after the International Conference held in Belgrade, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was working on realising the conclusions of the gathering.

The representatives of refugee associations all over Serbia who took part in the gathering agreed that there was still no valid data on the number of refugees, no cooperation among government institutions dealing with refugee problems, they complained of the work of the Refugee Commissariat, their inability to take part in the privatisation process in their countries of origin and achieve the right to shares of the enterprises they worked in, the restitution of their apartments and houses, achieving social and health insurance, the right to pension and linking their years of employment and similar. They repeated their demand that Serbian institutions enable them to take active part in the resolution of these problems.

Summing up the discussion, the Committee Chairperson stated that it was important to establish better coordination on all levels regarding the resolution of the refugees problems, that the record keeping system of persons and their property should be improved, that an improved implementation of international treaties and laws ratified and adopted by the National Assembly is essential, and that the bill on free legal assistance that would enable the refugees to exercise their rights in the countries of origin in the present ambient, should find itself in assembly procedure and on the National Assembly’s agenda as soon as possible.


Committees related to this activity



Previous month Next month
M T W T F S S
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
tuesday, 29 september
  • No announcements for selected date

Full event calendar