Citizenship Must not be an Obstacle for Access to the Asylum System

Izbjeglice velesajamAccess to the asylum system must be provided for everyone, regardless of the country of their origin, says Ombudswoman Lora Vidović motivated by the announcements of further separations of persons on the basis of their citizenships at the borders of the refugee route. “The creation of a list of countries whose citizens, supposedly, do not need protection is contrary to the provisions of international and European law. This kind of a differentiation completely cancels out the concept of asylum, which is unacceptable, regardless of the demanding situation faced by the countries of transit, including Croatia,” explained Ombudswoman Vidović.

The necessity to protect refugees cannot in any moment endanger other persons, who may suffer specific causes of risk, and that is exactly what can be a consequence by denying them access to the Asylum System and by stopping them at the borders. At the same time, in the crisis we are witnessing, acting in accordance with the law, the humanitarian principles and the obligation to protect security cannot be held to be the responsibility of a single country. “The international community must find a common solution that will ensure the protection of the fundamental human rights of all persons,” reminded Ombudswoman Vidović.

Common action was the topic of the discussion lead by the partners of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), including Ombudswoman Vidović, on November 18th and 19th in Vienna. The institutions will continue the work related to this subject-matter at the international conference under the title “Challenges to Human Rights in Refugee/Migrant Crisis” to be held in Belgrade next week. The conference will be attended by Ombudswoman Vidović along with the human rights institutions from Serbia, Austria, Denmark, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Germany, Albania and Sweden, as well as the representatives of international organizations.