The International Observatory on Statelessness

Serbia and Montenegro

Current residents of Serbia and Montenegro who were born in other parts of the former Yugoslavia, as well as large numbers of refugees, have not been able to establish their citizenship, leaving them stateless. This is a particular problem for asylum-seeking parents. For example, when asylum seekers who have been refused in Germany return to the former Yugoslavia with their children, the children travel on the basis of this document. Authorities take the paper at the port of entry and issue a receipt for it. Then the children have no documentation in a country where documentation is a basic requirement.

In January 1997, a new citizenship law entered into force, which, when implemented, was expected to affect adversely the rights of many inhabitants, including those born in other parts of the former Yugoslavia, refugees, and citizens who migrated to other countries to work or seek asylum. The Government plans to revise the eligibility status of a large number of persons. A new citizenship law was adopted by Serbia in December 2004.

Roma are not recognized as an ethnic group and do not receive constitutional protection as such. The number of stateless individuals is not known.