2016-06-03_11h43_26Our Serbian member Ekumenska Humanitarna Organizacija (Ecumenical Humanitarian Organisation – EHO), has launched a report on the issue of returnees titled ‘’Report on implementation of public policies towards returnees in Vojvodina according to readmission agreements.’’

The study came about as part of the Equal opportunity perspectives for readmitted people project. This project is being implemented by EHO from Novi Sad in the period between December 2014 and December 2016, with the financial support of the European Union.

The Report contains data collected during the project that has been collated and processed quantitatively and qualitatively. The report will be publicly promoted and will comprise the starting point for a series of public debates on the introduction of new and the improvement of existing public policies concerning returnees under the Readmission Agreement.

Returnees under the Readmission Agreement are citizens of the Republic of Serbia who have been refused an asylum application or have lost their rights to temporary residency, most commonly in a country of the European Union. Such people are returned on the basis of the Readmission Agreement which Serbia entered into with the European Union and individual countries.

The most common problems faced by returnees under the Readmission Agreement when they return to Serbia, especially by those who have spent a longer period of time abroad, are a lack of documents, unresolved social and economic problems, a lack of information, a lack of trust in institutions, a lack of flexibility on the part of those institutions, complicated procedures and social isolation due to their lack of contacts and poor knowledge of the local language.

The Strategy for Returnee Reintegration under the Readmission Agreement is a national strategic document that defines the mechanisms for the sustainable and active integration of returnees. Since integration happens at the local community level, it is essential for all local stakeholders to be involved (representatives of local government and institutions, civil society organisations and the returnees themselves), for local action plans to be adopted and funding secured for the successful implementation of the planned measures and activities. At the same time, empowering returnees to more successfully express the needs and problems they face in everyday life is of huge significance to the process as a whole. Successful integration ensures full respect for standards of human rights protection for returnees, prevents poverty from reemerging and reduces the risk of repeat migrations.

EHO has for many years concerned itself with the problems of returnees under the Readmission Agreement and in cooperation with them has sought to resolve their problems. This project is one aspect of those efforts.

Find the report here (EN) and here (DE).