The number of people at risk of statelessness in the population living in informal settlements in the Republic of Serbia has decreased by little over 1100 which is a significant progress by 42 percent as compared to 2015 reads the latest survey by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) “Persons at risk of statelessness in Serbia –overview of the current situation and way forward”.

Today, the UNHCR, the Ministry of State Administration and Local Self Government and the Protector of Citizens of the Republic of Serbia presented the results of cooperation in rooting out the risks of statelessness in Serbia, as well as the results of legislative changes implemented to prevent the reemergence of statelessness. The survey was conducted by CeSid Agency in the period from October to November 2020.

Statelessness affects the most endangered Roma in Serbia. The UNHCR has been working with vulnerable internally displaced and domicile Roma who have not been registered into the birth registry books or have had no documents since 2004.

Recognizing the need for a joint, multisector approach, the UNHCR signed in 2012 the first tripartite Agreement on Understanding with the Ministry of Local Administration and Local Self-Government and the Protector of Citizens of the Republic of Serbia. This initiative led to essential legal changes that resulted in decreasing the number of people at risk of statelessness. In 2019, the signatories signed the second Agreement on Understanding in order to address the remaining problems in this area.

UNHCR funded conducting the survey on statelessness in order to gather data on the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (RAE) in Serbia who have been living in informal settlements all around country. The survey was conducted on a sample of 1807 households (9248 people) and showcased 253 people without a registered fact of birth; 275 people whose citizenship of the Republic of Serbia has not been confirmed; 1032 people without ID card; and 2072 people who do not have registered residence or domicile.