Last Updated: Friday, 11 July 2014, 13:14 GMT

Survey on the Implementation of Temporary Protection

Publisher Humanitarian Issues Working Group
Publication Date 8 March 1995
Cite as Humanitarian Issues Working Group, Survey on the Implementation of Temporary Protection, 8 March 1995, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b3300.html [accessed 12 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

INTRODUCTION

This Survey on the Implementation of Temporary Protection in the context of the Comprehensive Response to the Humanitarian Crisis in the former Yugoslavia updates the version which was issued on 23 June 1994. The information has been gathered from the competent authorities in the concerned States through the intermediary of UNHCR's Representatives and is of a descriptive rather than a comparative nature. The current Survey includes under the subheading "voluntary repatriation" relevant information which was published in the Survey of Information relating to Voluntary Repatriation to Bosnia and Herzegovina of 25 November 1994.

DEFINITIONS

Where the text contains certain abbreviations, the paragraph below sets out the definitions of such terms:

•           Bosnia/Bosnians refers to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its inhabitants respectively.

•           Croats/Croatians refers to the Republic of Croatia and its inhabitants respectively.

•           FRY (S/M) refers to the Federal Yugoslav Republic (Serbia and Montenegro).

•           FYR Macedonia refers to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

•           Slovenia/Slovenians refers to the Republic of Slovenia and its inhabitants respectively.

The Regional Bureau for Europe wishes to thank all those who contributed to the updating of this survey.

Country Chapters

ALBANIA

Legal Regime

Temporary protection should be seen strictly as a situation deriving from Albania's compliance with the principle of non-refoulement. While Albania acceded to the 1951 Convention and its Protocol, without geographical limitation, on 18 August 1992, there are no laws or decrees establishing a procedure for refugee status determination.

Thus far, the Inter-Ministerial Commission for Refugees (IMCR), established by the Council of Minister's decision no. 443 of 15 October 1992, is the coordination body for emergency preparedness and contingency planning in the event of a massive influx of refugees from the former Yugoslavia. On 3 October 1994, the Council of Ministers approved a law on migration and refugees. The law was submitted to the Parliament for final approval and is expected to be adopted by February 1995.

The legal basis for which persons of non-Albanian origin are allowed to remain in Albania is derived from a number of laws and decrees, which include:

•           Law no. 7491 "On the Principal Constitutional Provisions" of May 1991, stipulating that "the Legislation of the Republic of Albania considers, recognizes and respects the generally accepted principles and norms of International Law" and that the President has the competence to grant political asylum.

•           Law "On Fundamental Freedoms and Human Rights" of March 1993, which refers, inter alia, to the rights and protection of minorities.

•           Decree no. 6346 "On the Treatment of Foreigners who are sheltered in the People's Socialist Republic of Albania" of September 1982, amended in 1983 and Decree no 2761 "On Residence and Circulation of Foreigners and Stateless Persons" of 22 September 1958 (regarded as former regime's asylum law) are still in force.

•           Decree no. 7393 (and amendments) on the "Issue of Passports and Visas" of June 1990 which foresees inter alia, visa requirements for all citizens of states of the former Yugoslavia.

•           Decree no. 282 of August 1992, which exempts ethnic Albanians of foreign citizenship from entry visa fees. In practice, visa requirements are not imposed on ethnic Albanians from former Yugoslavia.

•           Decree no 255 of July 1992 "On some Amendments to the Decree no. 1374 of 7 June 1954 on Albanian Citizenship", which grants, upon request, the Albanian citizenship to ethnic Albanians of foreign citizenship. This decree also permits dual nationality.

Beneficiaries

There are no official statistics on the number of persons from the former Yugoslavia currently in Albania, there are an estimated 3,000 and 5,000 persons.

Procedure

UNHCR has received formal assurances from the Albanian authorities (i.e. Presidency and MFA) that in case of an influx from the former Yugoslavia, Albanian borders will not be closed, persons will be admitted and asylum will be granted to them.

Standards

So far most of the persons who fled the former Yugoslavia are privately hosted by the local populations of the Northern districts of Tropoja, Puka, Kukesi and Shkodra, as well as in Tirana City. No assistance is provided to refugees or asylum-seekers in Albania.

Visa Policy

Bosnian citizens have been allowed to enter the country even when not meeting established visa requirements. See also Decrees nos. 7393 and 282 under "Legal Regime".

Voluntary Repatriation

On 25 October 1994, the Albanian Government authorized the repatriation of a group of 87 Bosnian refugees in the FYR Macedonia to be processed via Durres Port in Albania. An eventual repatriation of some 100 Bosnian refugees currently living in Shkodra and Tirana cities in Albania is under discussion.

AUSTRALIA

Legal Regime

Under the Migration Act of 1958, as amended by the Migration Reform Act of 1992, Australia provides protection, both temporary and permanent, for citizens of the former Yugoslavia.

Offshore: Persons fleeing the former Yugoslavia may apply for permanent entry to Australia under the Special Assistance Category (SAC) component of the Humanitarian Programme. The SAC was designed for citizens of the former Yugoslavia who have been displaced by fighting in that region and who have close family links with Australia. Smaller numbers, meeting the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol criteria to obtain refugee status (including ex-detainees, their spouses and dependents) are issued visas under the Subclass 200 Refugee category. Citizens of the former Yugoslavia may also be issued visas under the Woman at Risk programme component or the Special Humanitarian component of Australia's offshore Humanitarian Programme.

Onshore: To be eligible for a Citizens of the former Yugoslavia temporary visa (Subclass 443), the applicant must be a citizen of the former Yugoslavia who was normally resident there and was the holder of a valid entry permit or visa at any time on or after 31 December 1991. Such persons may extend their stay in Australia, currently until 31 March 1995. Regulations governing such visas are reviewed periodically to determine whether a further extension is warranted and a new regulation authorising stay until 30 September 1995 is in process.

On 1 November 1993, the Australian Government announced a decision which provides access to permanent residence for persons, including those from the former Yugoslavia who fulfill certain criteria. Applicants include holders of Subclass 443 temporary visas as well as onshore asylum-seekers from the former Yugoslavia. These people must have obtained a visa for travel to Australia before 12 March 1992, have entered Australia lawfully before 1 November 1993, be under 45 years old before 1 November 1993 and have certain educational qualifications and English language ability.

Beneficiaries

See "Legal Regime".

Procedure

Onshore: Nationals from the former Yugoslavia can apply for a Subclass 443 temporary protection visa by completing a form and paying a moderate registration fee.

Applicants seeking permanent residence under the 1 November 1993 decision were required to register their application between 1 March 1994 and 1 August 1994 and were required to provide proof that they fulfill English proficiency, health and study or business criteria. Processing of applications is expected to be finalized by October 1995. All persons including nationals of the former Yugoslavia have access, of course, to domestic asylum procedures if they so wish.

Standards

Offshore: Ex-detainees and others entering Australia under the Refugee component of the Humanitarian Programme are eligible for services including accommodation and specialized help in areas such as torture and trauma counselling and rehabilitation.

Onshore: Nationals of the former Yugoslavia who benefit from temporary protection have a right to remain in Australia until their temporary visa expires. They are allowed to work but they are not allowed to obtain public medical insurance, social security, to study any formal courses or to sponsor family members to join them in Australia.

Cessation

Temporary protection is only valid for a maximum period of one year. If the Australian Government considers that the situation in the country of origin has improved considerably, they may decide not to extend visas.

Figures

Offshore: Between July 1991 and June 1994, 937 persons from the former Yugoslavia were granted refugee status. (This included over 200 Bosnian ex-detainees, their spouses and dependent children in response to UNHCR's request during 1992/93.) A further 592 persons entered Australia under the Special Humanitarian component of the Humanitarian Programme and 7,325 persons were accepted under the Special Assistance Category for displaced persons from the former Yugoslavia.

In 1994/95, 780 Refugee places, 1,200 Special Humanitarian and 3,300 Special Assistance Category places have been allocated to persons from the former Yugoslavia.

Onshore: As at November 1994, 523 citizens of the former Yugoslavia had been granted Subclass 443 temporary visas to extend their stay in Australia.

Voluntary Repatriation

Persons wishing to leave Australia and return to their homeland are free to do so if they wish.

AUSTRIA

Legal Regime

The temporary protection scheme came into force on 1 July 1993. Before this law, Bosnian citizens benefitted from a three month visa-free stay, after which many of them received visas valid from 3 to 6 months on the basis of a generous interpretation of the Aliens Act. Residence permits for those benefitting from the temporary protection scheme were recently extended until 30 June 1995 on the basis of government decree BGBI No 1038/1994 dated 28 December 1994 issued in connection with paras 12 and 13 of the Austrian Residence Act of 1 July 1993.

Citizens from former Yugoslavia who do not qualify under the temporary protection regime and claim to be in need of protection are required to file an asylum application. During the period 1992-1994, 98% of these applications have been rejected.

Beneficiaries

Citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina who had to leave their country of origin due to armed conflict, who did not find protection elsewhere, and who entered Austria before 1 July 1993 are generally administered under the temporary residence scheme in Austria. The same applies to Bosnian refugees who entered Austria after 1 July 1993, if they:

•           entered Austria via an official border crossing point;

•           presented themselves to the border guards; and

•           were subsequently allowed entry according to international standards.

Furthermore, according to the December 1994 decree, a temporary residence permit is issued to persons who originate from bordering towns of Bosnia and Herzegovina and who entered Austria before 1 July 1993 regardless of their nationality. Muslim refugees from mixed areas in the FRY (Serbia/Montenegro), particularly those originating from Sandjak, have also been administered under this scheme.

Procedure

Temporary protection beneficiaries are not subject to the eligibility procedure. The determining criterion is the date of entry into Austria (before 1 July 1993), or, if having entered after 1 July 1993, the mode of entry into Austria (see "Beneficiaries" above).

Access to Eligibility Procedure

Although temporary protection beneficiaries do not need to undergo an eligibility procedure, if they so wish, they can, as all other aliens, file an asylum application with the Federal Asylum Office. The chances of being granted asylum, however, are fairly slim. The majority of Bosnians who, upon UNHCR's intervention, were formally granted asylum are ex-detainees and their relatives who arrived in Austria between November 1992 and April 1993 and were admitted under a quota of 200 persons plus dependents (see "Figures").

Standards

Right to Work/Possibility to Receive Training

By virtue of an ordinance of the Minister for Labour and Social Affairs dated 19 July 1993, temporary protection beneficiaries are permitted to work. They are listed as third priority category after unemployed Austrian and unemployed migrant workers who have lived in Austria for a longer period of time. Refugees who were formally granted asylum are excluded from the Aliens Employment Act and may therefore take up employment without prior permission. At the end of September 1994, 7,844 Bosnian beneficiaries held work permits and were, though some on a seasonal basis only, integrated into the labor market.

Bosnian who are formally granted asylum are entitled to benefit from special integration programmes, in particular language and vocational training, accommodation allowances and other financial support. Those who fall under the temporary protection regime are cared for under the special assistance scheme for Bosnians and receive training and integration assistance according to local facilities.

Right to Education

According to Austrian legislation, schooling is mandatory for all children between the ages of six and fifteen, irrespective of nationality. If required and feasible, Bosnian children obtain bilingual education. Right to Family Reunion

Family reunification with core family members (spouses and minor children) is granted to beneficiaries of temporary protection if the majority of the family is already in Austria. In some instances, the admission of extended family members is allowed for humanitarian reasons provided care and maintenance is granted.

Social Assistance

Private hosts who accommodate some 60% of the Bosnian temporary protection beneficiaries in Austria receive a monthly cash grant of ATS 1,500 (approximately 130 US$). The remainder are accommodated in public premises and receive either three meals a day or a direct cash grant. All temporary protection beneficiaries are insured under the common health insurance scheme. Social assistance is jointly financed by the Federal Government and the provincial governments.

Issuance of Travel/Identity Documents

Bosnians may apply for a passport at the Bosnian Embassy in Vienna. According to the Bosnian Embassy, some 70,000 passports were issued to Bosnian citizens including refugees as of the end of August 1994. It was reported that about 1% of the applications are pending with the Ministry of Interior in Sarajevo or have been rejected. Refugees who are formally granted asylum are entitled to apply for a Convention Travel Document and/or ID according to the 1951 Geneva Convention.

Comparison of Standards with Those Accorded to Recognized Refugees and Asylum-Seekers

Beneficiaries of temporary protection are permitted to stay temporarily in Austria at the discretion of the Austrian Government. Unlike persons formally granted asylum, beneficiaries of temporary protection do not, in principle, have the right to integration assistance, e.g. language and vocational training, accommodation allowances and other financial support, refugee travel documents and work without work permits. However, within the framework of the special assistance scheme for Bosnians, approximately 200 language courses were held, attended by some 5,000 some persons. In addition, the Federal Government conducted several vocational training courses for beneficiaries of temporary protection together with provincial governments. So far an estimated 1,000 persons have benefitted from this training.

As described above, persons granted asylum have free access to the labor market and do not need permission from the labor authorities while those under the temporary protection scheme have to obtain a work permit through their employer.

Cessation

The current temporary protection regime expires on 30 June 1995. Further regulations will depend on developments in the former Yugoslavia.

Visa Policy

Austria has only imposed visa requirements for citizens of the FRY (Serbia/Montenegro). Other citizens originating from former Yugoslavia may enter freely for tourist purposes for an initial period of three months.

Figures

As of 31 December 1994, some 72,000 Bosnians have benefitted from the temporary protection regime since 1 April 1992, the majority of whome originate from the eastern or northern areas of Bosnia and a large number from Sarajevo. 53,191 Bosnian citizens including recognized refugees have been issued residence permits. On 31 December 1994, 24,241 were still registered under the special assistance scheme for Bosnians, of whom 14,256 are in private accommodation and 9,985 are accommodated in public premises or facilities rented by the government.

As of 1 September 1994, some 4,173 persons who applied for admission to the temporary protection regime did not meet the required criteria. Furthermore, 1,878 persons had been resettled in another country such as Australia, USA, Canada, or Germany.

At the end of December 1994, a total of 377 asylum-seekers from former Yugoslavia had been admitted to the Federal Care and Maintenance Programme pending the conclusion of their asylum application.

Numbers of Asylum-Seekers from the Former Yugoslavia in 1992, 1993, and 1994:

APPLICATIONS        1992    1993    1994    TOTAL

Persons from Croatia:
Total    90 45   38        173
Positive            0 0       0          0
Negative           48        42        79        169
Withdrew         14        4          5          23

Persons from Bosnia:
Total    1,179 1,259     746      3,184
Positive            152 543           162      857
Negative           711      751      982      2,444
Withdrew         113      126      36        275

Persons from the FRY:
Total    5,915 372        624      6,911
Positive            152 35 29        216
Negative           5,653   3,464   1,930   11,047
Withdrew         403      75        57        535

Persons from FYR Madedonia:
Total    223 172           314      709
Positive            0 0       1          1
Negative           203      217      322      742
Withdrew         19        38        25        82

Persons from Slovenia:
Total    3 3       0          6
Positive            0 0       0          0
Negative           0          3          0          3
Withdrew         0          1          0          1

Voluntary Repatriation

Although the majority of Bosnians currently residing in Austria is believed not to wish to return back to Bosnia and Herzegovina under the current circumstances, some 1,000 Bosnian war refugees had returned home as of 1 September 1994. Persons included in the special assistance scheme who wish to return to their country of origin are authorized to keep their temporary Austrian residence permit in order to maintain the option of re-entering Austria after returning to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Financial assistance is granted to needy returnees to cover travel costs as well as subsistence for up to three months.

On 3 November 1994 a bilateral agreement between the Governments of Austria and Bosnia and Herzegovina was initialed, which calls, inter alia, for the sharing of information relating to voluntary repatriation with beneficiary populations. The agreement is not one with public international law implications, but is a working document elaborated by both parties and authenticated for internal administrative purposes.

BELGIUM

Legal Regime

Three texts apply to persons from the former Yugoslavia of various nationalities, present in Belgium since mid-1991:

•           The Aliens Act of 1980 modified in 1993, enabling the authorities to set up a temporary protection scheme;

•           A internal note of July 1992 on the status of persons from the former Yugoslavia residing in Belgium; and

•           A note of September 1993 from the Minister of Interior to the Chief of the Aliens Office on the granting of "displaced persons' status".

In the July 1992 note, it was specified that the non-cumulative criteria for benefitting from "displaced persons' status" was to originate from a combat zone or to belong to a threatened religious or ethnic minority. The authorities subsequently interpreted the note to encompass draft-evaders and conscientious objectors.

The September 1993 note introduces cumulative criteria which allows the granting of "displaced persons' status" only to Bosnian Muslims who have fled their area of origin for reasons other than those foreseen in Article 1 A (2) of the Geneva Convention relating to the Recognition of Refugee Status and who could not remain in their area of origin because of the prevailing dangerous situation there. Persons originating from Kosovo, FYR Macedonia and Croatia will no longer be eligible to qualify under the displaced persons regime, but are admitted into the refugee determination procedure.

The two notes state that "displaced persons' status" is granted in the form of a temporary right to stay ("déclaration d'arrivée") which is valid for a period of 6 months and renewable until the time a person can return without difficulty to his or her region of origin.

Beneficiaries

See under "Legal Regime".

Procedure

Upon registering in Belgium, persons may opt either to have their application processed within the framework of the refugee status determination procedure or the temporary protection regime. An individual may not benefit from both schemes.

The Aliens Office (OE) registers asylum applications, has the competency to grant "displaced persons' status", and examines the admissibility of an application for refugee status. The General Commission for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRA) determines the refugee status of those persons whose application is declared admissible by the OE.

Since September 1993, nationals of FYR Macedonia, Albanians from Kosovo, Serbians from Vojvodina and Croats are included in the eligibility procedure.

Access to Eligibility Procedures Persons benefitting from "displaced persons' status" do not have access to eligibility procedures, however, those who are not or do not wish to be granted temporary protection may apply for refugee status. The applications of these persons are still pending.

Standards

General

Persons granted "displaced persons' status" benefit from state welfare which includes medical assistance, education and most of the rights foreseen for refugees under the 1951 Geneva Convention. A draft amendment to the 1993 Aliens Act which would institute registration for both asylum-seekers and persons benefitting from temporary protection has been submitted to Parliament. As a result of the proposed registration, asylum-seekers would no longer be issued a "déclaration d'arrivée", but would instead receive a temporary residence permit regularizing their status in Belgium.

Right to Work/Possibility to Receive Training

Persons benefitting from "displaced persons' status" obtain the right to work. If the proposed amendment mentioned above under General is passed, the Ministry of Employment would be in a better position to request the assistance of local authorities in facilitating the right to work.

Right to Education

The right to education is granted to those with "displaced persons status". The aforementioned draft amendment would facilitate access to education at the local level.

Right to Family Reunion

The Aliens Office considers persons who arrived spontaneously in Belgium and whose spouse or parents have obtained "displaced persons' status" are eligible for family reunion.

Issuance of Travel/Identity Documents

As persons under the "displaced persons" scheme are not registered as residents in Belgium, they have no right to travel/identity documents.

Comparison of Standards with Those Accorded to Recognized Refugees and Asylum-Seekers

The standards granted to those benefitting from temporary protection are comparable to the rights granted in Belgium to asylum-seekers whose application for refugee status is considered admissible but is not yet decided upon.

Visa Policy

Visas are required for nationals of the Republics of Slovenia and FYR Macedonia who have passports from the former Yugoslavia, nationals of FYR Macedonia who have a passport issued by the Macedonian authorities and Croats and Bosnians who hold Croatian or Bosnian passports respectively. Slovenians who possess a Slovenian passport may enter Belgium without a visa.

Figures

As of 3 December 1994, 5,654 former Yugoslavs had been granted "displaced persons' status". In addition, temporary protection is offered to ex-detainees and other vulnerable groups under the present quota of 60 cases/200 persons.

Voluntary Repatriation

No scheme for voluntary repatriation exists.

BULGARIA

Legal Regime

Bulgaria acceded to the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol in October 1993. On 12 September 1994, the Council of Ministers passed an Ordinance on the Granting and Regulating of Refugee Status (published in the State Gazette as Decree no. 298 of 4 October 1994), empowering the National Bureau on Territorial Asylum and Refugees to grant Convention refugee status. A special Humanitarian Status is granted in 1-year periods in cases where conventional grounds for refugee status may not be satisfied.

Beneficiaries

Approximately 250 persons have sought protection in Bulgaria either through the UNHCR Office in Sofia or directly through the National Bureau, of whom 60 are residing in the town of Velingrad under the care of the Ministry of Labour and Social welfare. The Bureau estimates, however, that many more, perhaps hundreds, may have entered Bulgaria but have not contacted the authorities for material or other assistance because they are not in need of it. Therefore, the exact number currently residing in Bulgaria is not available.

Procedure

Persons requesting temporary protection or seeking Convention status in Bulgaria can apply for refugee status with the National Bureau. Those who are not seeking temporary protection may renew their temporary residence permits at 3-month intervals.

Access to Eligibility Procedures

In accordance with the Refugee Ordinance, persons from the former Yugoslavia have the same access to eligibility procedures as persons seeking Convention refugee status. All cases are referred to the National Bureau for legal assistance.

Standards

Accomodation

Housing has been made available for a group comprised mostly of women and children at the Chaika Rest Home in Velingrad (US$ 36,000 was allocated by UNHCR for this purpose in 1994). In addition, the Social Services department of the National Bureau has also been assisting individual asylum-seekers from the former Yugoslavia either in locating low-rent houses outside of Sofia or providing them with temporary housing at a structure designated for this purpose in the town of Pancharevo. Additionally, limited financial assistance has been provided by UNHCR through an agreement with the BRC and will continue to be distributed during 1995, subject to a needs assessment. Finally, the National Bureau has allocated a small amount of money to assist asylum-seekers with rent, food, and clothing expenses towards the end of 1994.

Right to Education

All non-citizen children receive primary and secondary education free of charge in Bulgaria upon proof of valid legal status. Although education was previously not conditional on the fact of holding refugee status but on the legality of sojourn, the Refugee Ordinance now specifically guarantees to persons with Humanitarian Status the same social rights, including that of education, as set forth in the 1951 Convention. During the eligibility process, children of asylum-seekers are also able to attend primary and secondary school, free of charge, however the process sometimes requires the intervention of the National Bureau or the Bulgarian Red Cross (BRC) with school authorities.

Right to Family Reunion

Given that no visas are required for nationals of the former Yugoslavia, no procedure for family reunion exists, nor have any problems been reported for persons attempting to join family members already residing in Bulgaria. However, some cases of persons being unable to reach Bulgaria due to their inability to transit Croatia or Serbia have been reported. Three persons thus far have requested the assistance of the National Bureau in locating family members from whom they were separated during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

Social Assistance

Nationals of the former Yugoslavia holding either temporary residence permits or seeking Humanitarian Status in Bulgaria are not eligible for government benefits, but once such status is granted, they will, in accordance with Article 31 of the Ordinance, be entitled the same benefits accorded to Convention refugees.

Issuance of Travel/Identity Documents

Under the terms of the recently enacted Refugee Ordinance, both identity documents and refugee travel documents will be provided to recognized refugees. This has not yet been implemented, and persons from the former Yugoslavia have generally continued to receive three-month visa extensions in either their national passports or via renewal of their Bulgarian "internal passport". In many cases, persons from Bosnia and Herzegovina not in possession of a national passport, or whose former Yugoslav passports have expired have received laissez-passers issued by the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, such documents are generally not valid for foreign travel other than to return to one's country of origin.

Comparison of Standards with Those Accorded to Recognized Refugees and Asylum-Seekers

There is virtually no difference in the treatment of those accorded refugee status under the UNHCR Mandate and those not officially recognized under the Mandate but who nevertheless qualify for the same assistance under the UNHCR/BRC programme. Furthermore, since the commencement of eligibility registration and interviews by the National Bureau in late 1993, there is no difference between the benefits and treatment given to persons applying for Convention refugee status and those who seek temporary protection. Persons from the former Yugoslavia are no longer required to pay a fee for the renewal of their temporary residence permit, but rather receive a document of indefinite duration from the National Bureau that identifies them as an asylum-seeker in Bulgaria.

Cessation

No regulations or policy have thus far been proposed concerning the cessation of temporary protection. Article 19 of the Refugee Ordinance sets forth a period of "up to one year" for the issuance of Humanitarian Status, but there are no provisions concerning the cessation of such status, which is of an undetermined length.

Visa Policy

The general rule concerning the entry of all persons from the former Yugoslavia, whether or not they are seeking protection in Bulgaria, still applies. Persons may enter Bulgaria for up to 3 months without a visa and subsequently request 3-month extensions from the Ministry of the Interior (Passport and Visa Section). Persons who register with the National Bureau receive a document bearing their photograph of indefinite duration, and are no longer required to renew their temporary residence permit every 3 months.

Figures

Approximately 250 persons have sought protection in Bulgaria either directly from the Bulgarian Government or through the UNHCR Office in Sofia. Approximately 95% are from Bosnia Herzegovina.

CANADA

Legal Regime

Persons from the former Yugoslavia selected abroad as refugees are processed under Section 6(5) of the Act and related regulations. Those selected as immigrants (special measures for people with family links) are selected under Sections 5 and 6(1). Former Yugoslavs already in Canada can be processed for permanent residence under Sections 46.04(1) (those recognized as refugees) or 114(2) (exemptions to normal landing requirements).

Procedure

There are no legislative provisions for temporary protection in Canada.

Access to Eligibility Procedure

Asylum seekers from the former Yugoslavia have full access to the refugee status determination procedure if declared eligible under the pre-screening procedure at the port of entry or inland immigration office. Criteria for non-admissibility into the eligibility procedure include those who have been granted Convention refugee status in another country.

Visa Policy

All nationals of the former Yugoslavia require visas to enter Canada.

Special measures are in place to help persons from the former Yugoslavia join their close relatives in Canada. These measures apply to all nationals of the former Yugoslavia who have been adversely affected by the conflict including those who have found temporary shelter in other countries who may be assisted by their relatives in Canada. Many persons from the former Yugoslavia have withdrawn or abandoned their asylum claims in order to take advantage of the special measures scheme.

Persons with a valid visitor visa issued before July 1992 may be eligible for the special measures programme. Visa extensions of one year may be granted. Any of these persons who have relatives in Canada may apply for permanent residence under relaxed criteria. The deadline for such applications is 30 July 1995. There is no deadline to apply under the special measures programme for permanent residence visas abroad. Resettled vulnerable groups are treated as 1951 Convention refugees.

Figures

Figures of the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Department reflect the following arrivals of persons from former Yugoslavia from 1992 until October 1994:

CLAIMS:         1992 1993       Oct      TOTAL
1994

Claims received            1,498 705        360      2,563

Claims accepted           252 387           472      1,111

Claims withdrawn/
abandoned       53        373      247      673

Claims pending 0 0       385      385

Refugee population:

Resettlement:

Government assisted     9          1,077 2,528     3,614

Privately sponsored      93        791      688      1,572

Inland Determination     144      198      125      467

Total refugee population            246      2,066   3,341   5,653

Special Measures:

Accepted from abroad    500       2,746    1,299    4,845

Accepted inland            25 973 442      1,440

Total Special Measures 525      3,719   1,741   5,985

Total Refugee/Special
Measures Population    771      5,785   5,082   11,638

From January 1993 to October 1994, Canada resettled a total 699 persons on the referral of UNHCR, of whom, 232 were ex-detainees (with 426 dependents) and 15 were other vulnerable groups (with 26 dependents).

Voluntary Repatriation

No scheme for voluntary repatriation exists.

CZECH REPUBLIC

Legal Regime

The legal basis for which persons are granted temporary protection fall under Government Decrees Nos. 419 of 11 June 1992, 769 of 30 December 1992, 359 of 30 June 1993 and 723 of 22 December 1993, and 735 of 21 December 1994. The latter decree extends temporary protection for persons from former Yugoslavia until 31 December 1995.

Beneficiaries

In accordance with Government Decree No. 725 of 21 December 1994, only citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina are eligible for temporary protection. Other citizens from the former Yugoslavia who were granted temporary protection before 1 January 1994 will retain it for the same period.

Procedure

Temporary protection can be requested by registering at any office of the Aliens Police and Passport Services.

Standards

Accommodation

Persons benefitting from temporary protection are accommodated in humanitarian centres provided by the Ministry of Interior, with host families or in private accommodation. Those who are accommodated in the centres are granted the same assistance and services as asylum-seekers, including food, pocket money and medical care. Under Decree 735, the amount of money given to persons benefitting from temporary protection was increased.

Decree 735 grants persons who are not accommodated in a centre a financial allowance after an initial period of 6 months of residence in the Czech Republic. The allowance is paid locally from the chapter of the General Treasury Administration by the respective District Office as of 1 January 1995 and covers basic personal needs, household expenses and meals. The amount provided varies according to personal needs and takes into account the income of the entire family. It should not exceed the national minimum subsistence.

Right to work

All persons under this scheme can apply for work permits.

Right to Education

Education is compulsory for all persons benefitting from temporary protection up to grade 8.

Right to family reunion

Family reunion is facilitated through the issuance of guarantee letters by the Ministry of Interior.

Issuance of Travel/Identity Documents

Temporary identity cards are issued by the Aliens Police to all persons enjoying temporary protection.

Comparison of Standards with those Accorded to Recognized Refugees and Asylum-Seekers

The rights of persons with temporary protection are the same as those accorded to asylum-seekers but less than those of recognized refugees.

Visa Policy

Visa requirements were instituted on 15 January 1994 for citizens of the FRY (Serbia and Montenegro) and for citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Czech Republic does not impose visa requirements on other citizens from the former Yugoslavia.

Figures

From 1991 to 31 January 1995, the total number of applications for temporary protection amounted to 6,730 persons, 5,105 of whom were accomodated in humanitarian centres of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic.

The total number of resettlement places offered to UNHCR for ex-detainees and other vulnerable groups is 150 cases/500 persons.

Voluntary Repatriation

Return assistance in the form of financial support for transport is provided by the Department for Refugees on a case-by-case basis.

DENMARK

Legal Regime

Asylum-seekers from the former Yugoslavia may apply for asylum under the normal procedure upon arrival in Denmark. However, pursuant to the Special Law of 28 November 1992, the competent authorities can postpone the processing of an asylum application for up to two years from the time of granting the first temporary residence permit in Denmark. In the meantime, the asylum-seeker would receive a temporary residence permit renewable every six months. The first applications of asylum seekers who had their decisions postponed for a maximum two years began to be processed in December 1994.

On 12 January 1995, the Danish Parliament voted to change the Aliens Law, inter alia, to provide continued temporary protection for an initial 2 years to persons from the former Yugoslavia holding a temporary residence permit pursuant to the Special Law of 28 November 1992 who may be finally rejected in the status determination. In addition, persons from the former Yugoslavia holding a temporary residence permit pursuant to the amendment to the Aliens Law, as well as persons from the former Yugoslavia having been granted asylum, are granted access to all services available to persons (including refugees) with permanent residence (i.e. social benefits, work permits without restrictions, etc).

Beneficiaries

Pursuant to the Special Law of 28 November 1992, a temporary residence permit can be granted to the following persons from the former Yugoslavia.

Subject to agreement with UNHCR or a similar international organisation, the Government may invite a number of particularly distressed persons from the former Yugoslavia to stay in Denmark for the purpose of receiving medical treatment or other help that cannot be provided in the area where such persons are staying.

Furthermore, a persons from the former Yugoslavia who has arrived in Denmark and has applied for asylum can be granted a residence permit if, due to acts of war or similar disturbances in the area to which the person in question would be returned, the person is assumed to need temporary protection in Denmark.

Finally, a person from the former Yugoslavia who is in former Yugoslavia or its close surrounding areas can be granted a residence permit if, on the basis of information provided and in cooperation with UNHCR, it is assumed that, owing to acts of war or similar disturbances, the person in question has an immediate need for protection.

Procedure

As mentioned under "Legal Regime", asylum seekers will start having their applications processed under the normal procedure after having been granted a temporary residence permit for up to two years.

It is estimated that all persons from the former Yugoslavia holding a temporary residence permit and who are staying in Denmark (i.e. approximately 17,600 persons) have sought asylum.

Rejected asylum claims can be appealed to the Refugee Board. If the rejection is upheld, persons from the former Yugoslavia holding a temporary residence permit pursuant to the Special Law of 28 November 1992 may be granted a residence permit pursuant to the Aliens Law if, owing to acts of war or similar disturbances in the area to which the person in question would return, the person must be assumed to need continued temporaray protection in Denmark.

The residence permit under the Aliens Law will be granted on a temporary basis for 6 months. The temporary residence permit may be extended for another 6 months and, subsequently, for another 12 months if, owing to acts of war of similar disturbances in the area to which the person in question would return, the persons is assumed to need continued temporary protection in Denmark. After the first 2 years, the residence permit, pursuant to the Aliens Law, will be permanent provided the person in question at that time is assumed to need continued temporary protection as described above.

Asylum status will be granted on a permanent basis. However, it may be revoked within 3 years from the date of issuance of the first residence permit pursuant to the Special Law of 28 November 1992 or from the date of submission in Denmark of an asylum application or residence permit. Within that period, asylum status may be revoked provided the grounds referred to in the application or permit were not correct or are no longer applicable.

Persons who are temporarily residing in Denmark but do not wish to apply for asylum will be able to extend their temporary residence permits according to the Special Law of 28 November 1992 provided that, owing to acts of war of similar distrubances in the area to which the persons in question would return, the person is assumed to need continued temporary protection in Denmark.

Standards

General

The following standards only apply to persons from the former Yugoslavia holding a temporary residence permit pursuant to the Special Law of 28 November 1992. The following standards neither apply to persons from the former Yugoslavia holding a temporary residence permit pursuant to the amendment to the Aliens Law nor to those having been granted asylum who, on the contrary, are granted access to all services available to persons (including refugees) with permanent residence (i.e. social benefits, work permits without restrictions, etc.).

Accommodation

Persons granted temporary protection were initially accommodated in special centres administered by the Danish Red Cross. Under Law no. 425 of 1 June 1994, the general conditions for persons under the scheme were improved and private accommodation, as well as independent housing outside of the centres, was allowed provided the cost does not exceed that of the Red Cross centre and is approved by the authorities.

Right to Work

Initially, persons with temporary protection did not have the right to work, although they did have the right to participate in unpaid humanitarian or similar voluntary work. However, Law no. 425 of 1 June 1994 now allows persons holding a temporary residence permit to take up paid employment on the condition that the vacant position has been advertised through the employment office, relevant journals, or similar professional publications during a period of 3 months without having been filled by a resident of Denmark or a person holding a work permit in Denmark.

Right to Education

Access to education is possible through a programme set up by the Danish Refugee Council. Children are instructed in their own mother tongue in Danish school buildings or in other suitable facilities. Persons holding a temporary residence permit furthermore have, in special cases, the possibility to be admitted to a school to follow complete Danish school courses, if the head of the school evaluates that the persons in question possess sufficient linguistic and professional qualifications and if the question of financing has been clarified. Other age groups have also obtained increased educational possibilities. Adults may thus apply for admission into various educational establishments, including university, provided their knowledge of the Danish language is adequate and they are otherwise qualified. Adults furthermore have the possibility to attend Danish lessons, vocational training, youth and adult education, etc.

Right to Family Reunion

Whereas family reunion with spouse and minor children is normally a right under Danish law, persons benefitting from temporary protection do not enjoy this legal right. In practice, however, family reunion has usually been granted to spouses and minors in the former Yugoslavia and surrounding areas.

Issuance of Travel/Identity Documents

Persons under the temporary protection scheme are issued a document of "warranty" recognizing their situation. Citizens of the former Yugoslavia can obtain passports from their embassies in Denmark. In principle, they are entitled to travel outside Denmark for up to 3 months at a time, however, in practice, it is virtually impossible for them to obtain the necessary visas.

Comparison to Standards with Those Accorded to Recognized Refugees and Asylum-Seekers

The June 1994 Law enabled persons from the former Yugoslavia enjoying temporary protection to receive better standards than those of asylum-seekers (i.e. the right to enter the labor market, albeit under restricted conditions, the possibility to become a trainee, the improved possibility to receive an education, the improved standards for accomodation, and the possibility to receive financial support for voluntary repatriation). The amendment to the Aliens Act adopted by the Danish Parliament in January 1995 will allow all persons holding a temporary residence permit under the Aliens Act to receive the same standard of treatment as persons with permanent residence.

Visa Policy

Since July 1993, citizens of Bosnia, FYR Macedonia and the FRY require visas to enter Denmark. Croats and Slovenians do not need visas.

Figures

As of 3 January 1995, a total of 18,748 persons have arrived in Denmark and have been granted temporary protection pursuant to the Special Law of 28 November 1992. However, the number of persons residing in Denmark as of 27 February 1995 was somewhat lower (i.e. 17,597), as a number of persons have left the country (in some cases to seek family reunification in another country). Almost all of the 17,597 persons have sought asylum.

Voluntary Repatriation

According to Law nr. 425 of 1 June 1994, persons who want to return to their region of origin can be granted financial aid, which comprises of expenses for tickets, transport of personal belongings, a maximum of 5000 DKK for transport of equipment needed for trade of the persons in question and a small installation grant (2000 DKK per adult and 1000 DKK per child). Likewise, persons who regret their decision within 3 months and wish to return to Denmark can be granted financial aid for this return which comprises of expenses for tickets and transport of personal belongings. As of February 1995, only 2 persons had done so.

FINLAND

Legal Regime

According to the law on the exceptional processing of asylum applications submitted by citizens of the former Yugoslavia, adopted in December 1992, asylum application lodged before 22 July 1992 are to be kept pending. An exception was made for persons who had committed crimes either in Finland or in other Nordic countries. Their applications were channeled into the normal procedure. The law did not affect persons seeking asylum in Finland after 22 July 1992 who have their asylum applications considered under the normal procedure.

Beneficiaries

See under "Legal Regime" and "Procedure".

Procedure

In early 1993, all persons who arrived in Finland before 22 July 1992, excluding criminals, were issued temporary residence permits for one year on humanitarian grounds in accordance to the special law on the exceptional processing of asylum applications submitted by the citizens of the former Yugoslavia. In 1994, their permits were extended for another year, while it was also decided that their stay was no longer considered temporary. Hence, their position became equal to that of any other asylum-seeker who has received a humanitarian residence permit in Finland.

According to Finnish law, permanent residence permits can be issued after two years' residence of a permanent nature. Unless a revocation of a residence permit should be considered, for instance, because of criminal behavior, the asylum claims of persons under the special law are not examined. All persons arriving after 22 July 1992 have had their applications processed in the normal procedure. Since the residence permits granted to asylum-seekers are considered to be of a permanent nature, no temporary protection scheme is applied to asylum-seekers in Finland.

The only group of persons who currently have residence permits of a temporary nature are medical cases who were admitted to Finland through the UNHCR Medical Evacuation Programme (approximately 250 persons), on the basis of the Council of State decision of August 1993. Initially, these persons received residence permits renewable every six months. However, in December 1994, it was decided to also grant residence permits of a permanent nature, if they so desire. Hence, their position will be equal to asylum-seekers who have received a residence permit in Finland.

Standards

Persons from the former Yugoslavia granted refugee status, need of protection status or humanitarian status have similar and normal rights regarding work, education and social benefits.

Right to Family Reunion

Both refugees and persons with need of protection status or humanitarian status have the right to family reunion. This applies also to the medical evacuation cases as soon as they have obtained a permit of a permanent nature (see "Procedure" above).

With the exception of persons admitted under the medical evacuation quota, both refugees and persons with humanitarian status are entitled to family reunion.

Issuance of Travel/Identity Documents

Refugee travel documents and aliens' passports are issued under the normal procedure.

Comparison of Standards with Those Accorded To Recognized Refugees and Asylum-Seekers

The situation of medical evacuation cases is comparable to that of other asylum-seekers (i.e. social services are granted on a care and maintenance basis). However, as soon as these persons receive permits of a permanent nature, their situation becomes equal to that of other asylum-seekers who have been issued residence permits in Finland.

Visa Policy

An agreement on the abolition of visa requirements has been concluded with the Republics of Slovenia and Croatia. Citizens from other areas of the former Yugoslavia require visas to enter Finland.

Figures

Approximately 2,200 persons from the former Yugoslavia who arrived in Finland from 1991 to 1994 as asylum-seekers, through the resettlement quota or through family reunion, have all been issued residence permits of a permanent nature. Hence, temporary protection is no longer applied in Finland.

Voluntary Repatriation

In principle, all temporary permits have been re-issued to permits of a permanent nature. No special scheme for voluntary repatriation exists.

FRANCE

Legal Regime

An ad hoc temporary protection regime composed of a body of 18 ministerial directives was established between August 1992 and August 1993 to cover all aspects relating to temporary protection, including the extension of visas, work permits, lodging, social security and medical insurance premiums, family reunion, subsistence and family allowances and deportation orders.

Persons who arrived with a visa or have been part of a group-sponsored operation either through public or private initiatives are eligible for an extension of their visa or a renewable temporary resident permit valid for 3 or 6 months.

In addition, persons from the former Yugoslavia may enter the normal procedure for refugee status determination based on Law no. 52-893 of 25 July 1952 which created the Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless persons (OFPRA) and Decree no. 53-377 of 2 May 1953.

Beneficiaries

Citizens of the former Yugoslavia (except citizens of the Republic of Slovenia) who originate from conflict zones can benefit from temporary protection provided they: -entered legally (with a visa or "sauf-conduit" issued by the border police) after the outbreak of hostilities in the former Yugoslavia, and -arrived in France without having transited through a third country for an extended period of time.

Citizens of the former Yugoslavia who do not fulfill the conditions of the temporary protection regime benefit nevertheless, since August 1992, from the suspension of deportation orders.

Access to Eligibility Procedure

Beneficiaries of temporary protection may apply for refugee status at any stage of their stay. Over 3000 citizens from the former Yugoslavia (e.g. military deserters or draft-evaders, persons of mixed origin and mixed couples, members of ethnic minorities) have been granted refugee status between August 1991 and November 1994. In 1994, the recognition rate rose to 51.2% from an average of 12% over 1991/1992.

Standards

Right to Work

Persons originating from conflict areas in the former Yugoslavia are granted a renewable 3 or 6 months work permit (according to the temporary residence permit), provided they do not apply for refugee status. Ex-detainees who are explicitly excluded from this arrangement are granted such permits provided they take up residence outside a reception centre. There is no possibility to receive vocational training.

Right to Education

Education is provided at the elementary and secondary level. Refugees and asylum-seekers have normal access to higher studies (whether at University or at another specialized or technical institution) and are entitled to specific facilities (e.g. they are exempt from certain University pre-entry administrative requirements as regards undergraduate studies). Furthermore, a circular dated 26 August 1993 requires all University Deans to be as flexible as possible with regard to Bosnian students who may not be in possession of all the documentation necessary for such University study.

Right to Family Reunion

Ex-detainees and recognized refugees may benefit from family reunion.

Issuance of Travel/Identity Documents

Beneficiaries of temporary protection are not issued with travel/identity documents.

Comparison of Standards with Those Accorded to Recognized Refugees and Asylum-Seekers

Beneficiaries of temporary protection enjoy a more favorable status than asylum-seekers as regards the right to work (which is no longer available to asylum-seekers), the right to family reunion (reserved for ex-detainees), easier access to lodging, complete social coverage and family allowances (for holders of a 6-month residence permit).

The temporary protection regime is less favorable than that of refugee status, the latter of which is almost equivalent to that of French nationals regarding the right to university studies and training, family reunion (except for ex-detainees) and the issuance of travel documents.

Cessation

According to ministerial instructions, all special measures adopted to regulate the entry and sojourn of nationals of the former Yugoslavia remain valid pending return to normality of the situation in the region of origin.

Visa Policy

A visa requirement exists for citizens of the former Yugoslavia, with the exception of those from the Republic of Slovenia. Since August 1992, persons from the former Yugoslavia who do not hold a French visa are admitted at the border upon presentation of a letter of sponsorship.

Figures

Total asylum-seekers from 1991 to 31 December 1994      7,500
Total Vulnerable groups as at 31 December 1994 accepted
through public or private initiatives 2,602
of whom:
Ex-detainees with families 1,080
Evacuated from Sarajevo (B. Kouchner) 118
Wounded children with mothers (Operation
"Chaîne de l'Espoir via Medecins du Monde)         180

Arrived via Equilibre 1,013
Arrived via Enfance sans Frontière 66
Arrived via Scouts de Cluses 95
Miscellaneous 50

Temporary resident permits issued as of 31 December 1993 4,470
of which 1,921
(for 6 months) and 549
(for 3 months) Visas issued in 1994 as of November 1994 43,980

French Embassies which issues visas in 1994 (as of November 1994):
            in Belgrade       in Zagreb in Ljubljana

Short stay visas 7,887 9,141     202
Long stay visas 376      117      41
Transit visas      1,365   24,818 34
TOTAL            9,628 34,076   277


Temporary protection offered to UNHCR for ex-detainees and other vulnerable groups is 385 cases/1320 persons.

Voluntary Repatriation

44 persons repatriated to Sarajevo in 1994 within the framework of the UNHCR/International Office for Migration (IOM) Medevac repatriation programme. The French Government has requested that each case be reviewed and approved by UNHCR and that return and reintegration be carried out in the best conditions.

In some cases (i.e. those evacuated by the Médecins du Monde), the return was financed by the Ministry of Social Affairs. A tripartite Convention among the Office for International Migration of the Ministry of Social Affairs, IOM and UNHCR is under review.

GERMANY

Legal Regime

There is no single legal regime providing temporary protection in Germany to persons from the former Yugoslavia, in the absence of implementation of paragraph 32a of the Aliens Act. If implemented, that provision would provide a formal temporary protected status for war and civil war refugees, while prohibiting the parallel filing or pursuing of an asylum application. At present, certain categories of persons from the former Yugoslavia - chiefly those from Bosnia Herzegovina - enjoy temporary protection in Germany based on a variety of legal constructions.

Temporary protection for persons from Bosnia Herzegovina is mainly based on a decision taken by the Ministers of Interior of the 16 Federal States and the Federal Government dated 22 May 1992, which set out the principles for admission of persons from Bosnia Herzegovina and enacted a ban on deportation to Bosnia Herzegovina of persons staying in Germany.

According to this decision, admission of Bosnians to Germany would be according to the following modalities:

•           Under individual guarantee arrangements: A visa, valid initially for 3 months, is issued to Bosnians for whom an individual guarantee of care and maintenance in Germany has been submitted by an individual or group and certified by the local authorities at the intended place of residence in Germany. If the visa is not renewed, a toleration permit will be issued.

•           Under a special admission quota ("Kontingent") which was established for ex-detainees and other particularly vulnerable persons from Bosnia Herzegovina in anticipation of a Europe-wide effort to receive Bosnian refugees; 17,000 places were made available. Persons admitted under this quota are granted a renewable permit ("Aufenthaltsbefugnis") valid for 1 or 2 years.

•           For medical evacuation: Sick and wounded persons for whom adequate care is not available in the region of origin are admitted for medical treatment based on requests from UNHCR or non-governmental organizations and if places for treatment have been offered by the Lander. Such persons also receive a residence permit ("Aufenthaltsbefugnis").

The 22 May 1992 decision established a ban on deportation to Bosnia and Herzegovina under paragraph 54 of the Aliens Act. This ban, which must be renewed every 6 months, remains in effect. Bosnians who do not have any other type of permission to stay in Germany are therefore issued a "Duldung" (or toleration permit) until such time that their deportation is considered possible. The current deportation ban expires on 31 March 1995 and is expected to be renewed for a further 6 months.

Temporary protection may also be afforded to rejected asylum-seekers under paragraph 53 of the Aliens Law, which pertains to individual obstacles to deportation. Rejected asylum-seekers may therefore receive the right to stay temporarily in Germany, initially on the basis of a toleration permit ("Duldung") if their deportation would pose a threat to their life or liberty or if it would violate rights established by the European Human Rights Convention.

Beneficiaries

The only group to benefit from temporary protection in Germany at present are persons from Bosnia and Herzegovina, based on one of the arrangements described under "Legal Regime".

A ban on deportation to Croatia had previously been in effect, but this expired officially on 31 January 1994, at which time a programme of phased returns to Croatia began. In the first phase, which ended on 31 October 1994, persons originating from parts of Croatia currently under Croatian control were required to return home. In the second phase, which officially began on 1 January 1995, but has been delayed until 31 March 1995, persons originating from occupied or destroyed areas of Croatia are required to return, albeit to parts of Croatia under Croatian control. The return of this group should be completed by 30 June 1995.

Procedure

Persons from Bosnia and Herzegovina seeking temporary protection in Germany follow the procedures outlined above.

Access to Eligibility Procedure

In the absence of implementation of paragraph 32a Aliens Law, the fact of enjoying temporary protection in Germany under some other legal construction does not pose an obstacle to the filing of an asylum application by persons from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Under the new German asylum law which came into effect on 1 July 1993, persons who enter Germany without proper travel documents/visas through a so-called "safe" country (all countries bordering on Germany are considered safe) are not eligible for asylum in Germany. If it is not possible for the authorities to return these persons to the country through which they travelled (which in the case of persons from the former Yugoslavia is generally Austria, the Czech Republic or Poland) they will have their claims examined and may be granted protection pursuant to para 51(1) of the Aliens Act, but may not obtain asylum under Article 16 of the German Constitution.

Since mid-1993, decisions on asylum applications filed by persons from Bosnia and Herzegovina have been suspended, i.e. hearings continue but decisions are presently not being taken. Applications of 24,857 Bosnians were pending a decision at the end of 1994.

Approximately 316,000 persons from the various Republics of the former Yugoslavia have filed asylum applications in Germany since the outbreak of hostilities in mid-1991. As indicated above, decision-making on applications from citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been suspended since late 1993; prior to that date, the first-instance recognition rate for Bosnians was 1.9%. Recognition rates in the first instance for applicants from Croatia, FYR Macedonia and Slovenia in 1994 are 0%. For persons from the FRY (Serbia/Montenegro), mainly Kosovo Albanians, the recognition rate during 1994 is 5.5%.

Statistics for recognitions on appeal at the level of the Administrative Courts are not available. However, it is believed that a substantial number of Kosovo Albanians and some Bosnians are recognized by the courts.

Standards

General

Standards of reception vary depending on the status of the individual (i.e. asylum-seeker, holder of a toleration permit, beneficiary of "Aufenthaltsbefugnis" - a person staying by way of an individual guarantee arrangement or a recognized refugee). Standards also vary considerably depending on the Federal State of residence, and the community in which the individual resides. Many Bosnians live in collective accommodation centers, frequently alongside asylum-seekers and frequently subject to the same regime as asylum-seekers. Many others are privately accommodated.

Right to Work

Asylum-seekers are not authorized to work as long as they are required to stay in an initial reception centre ("Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung"), which is usually for 3 months. Thereafter they may work if no German or EU national can be found to take the job in question. Holders of short-term residence permits ("Aufenthaltsbefugnis") as well as of toleration permits ("Duldung") may work under the same conditions, i.e. if no German or EU national can be employed. Generally speaking, only recognized refugees have access to state vocational and language-training programmes.

Right to Education

9 years of schooling are compulsory in Germany, usually from age 6. This also applies to foreigners who are legally resident in Germany. Access to schools is not guaranteed in all Federal States for children of asylum-seekers while staying in reception centers (which in principle is for an initial 3 months). However, thereafter, all children of asylum-seekers and beneficiaries of the various other categories of temporary protection, have access to schooling in Germany at the primary and secondary level.

Right to Family Reunion

Beneficiaries of temporary protection and asylum-seekers do not enjoy a right to family reunion, as by definition their stay is supposed to be limited in time. An exception has been made by a decision of the Ministers of Interior of the Federal States and Federal Government at their meeting on 26 November 1993. According to this decision, spouses and minor children of persons admitted within the Bosnian special quota are permitted to come to Germany for family reunion under the same quota until the exhaustion of the quota. However, for husbands of women admitted under the special quota, family reunion in Germany is allowed only if the husbands are coming directly from a "crisis area".

Social Assistance

As there is no single temporary protected status, there is no single regime for providing social assistance. The type and extent of social assistance differs depending on the status and financial situation of the individual, and depending on the Federal State of residence. For asylum-seekers, under the law on Social Assistance to Asylum-Seekers which entered into force on 1 November 1993, assistance during the first 12 months of the procedure is to be provided in kind, with only minimal pocket money (80 DM/per adult/per month). Persons holding a "Duldung" (toleration permit) fall in some Federal states under the same regime applied to asylum-seekers. Persons for whom an individual guarantee arrangement was provided are in principle not entitled to social assistance during the period of validity of that arrangement. Other persons (for instance, holders of an "Aufenthaltsbefugnis") are in principle entitled to social aid on the same basis as German nationals.

Issuance of Travel/Identity Documents

No travel or identity document is routinely issued by German authorities to persons from the former Yugoslavia who benefit from some form of temporary protection in Germany. Generally, these persons hold national passports. If a person has no national passport and can demonstrate that he/she is unable to obtain one, the German authorities may exceptionally issue a substitute travel/identity document if there is a compelling reason to do so. Refugees recognized pursuant to Article 16 of the German Constitution or Article 51 of the Aliens Law are issued Travel Documents in accordance with the 1951 Convention.

Comparison of Standards with those Accorded to Recognized Refugees and Asylum-seekers

None of the categories of persons enjoying a form of temporary protection has the same rights as recognized refugees in Germany. Those holding toleration permits ("Duldung") or a temporary status ("Aufenthaltsbefugnis") enjoy standards at least equivalent to those applied to asylum-seekers.

Cessation

Deportation bans established in accordance with para 54 of the Aliens Act (currently the case for Bosnia and Herzegovina are limited to a period of 6 months. Renewal requires the consent of the Federal Government, which in turn insists on unanimity of the 16 Federal States. The current deportation ban for Bosnia and Herzegovina expires on 31 March 1995. Its renewal is expected.

The deportation ban for Croatia expired on 31 January 1994. A schedule for return of persons to Croatia was established by decision of Ministers of the Interior of the Federal States and the Federal Government of 9 February 1994. The return is to be completed according to this decision by 30 June 1995 (see also "Beneficiaries").

Persons admitted under the special quota for Bosnians (in accordance with para 32 of the Aliens Act) receive renewable residence permits valid for a period of up to 2 years. A longer term solution for these persons has not been proposed.

Visa Policy

Citizens of Croatia and Slovenia do not require visas for entry into Germany. A visa requirement exists for citizens of the FRY (Serbia/Montenegro), the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the FYR Macedonia.

Figures

According to the Federal Ministry of Interior, some 350,000 "civil war refugees" were staying in Germany at the end of 1994, approximately 270,000 from Bosnia and Herzegovina and 80,000 from Croatia. The Bosnian figure includes nearly 15,000 persons admitted by Germany under the special quota for ex-detainees and other vulnerable persons, as well as 24,857 Bosnian asylum-seekers whose applications remain pending.

Not included in the above figure are around 200,000 persons from the FRY (Serbia/Montenegro) who have filed applications for asylum in Germany since March 1992 (the date from which separate statistics have been maintained for the Republics of former Yugoslavia). At the end of 1994, applications from 36,225 persons from the FRY remained pending a decision in the first instance.

Voluntary Repatriation

At present, no return assistance scheme exists. Voluntary returnees may benefit from the REAG-scheme, implemented by IOM with funding from the German Government. Under the REAG-scheme, only travel costs for the return journey are covered. No other form of assistance is provided. According to the Ministry of the Interior, repatriation of Bosnians is presently not considered a viable option in view of the current developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The deportation ban for citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been extended to 31 March 1995.

GREECE

Legal Regime

Greece has not introduced a specific temporary protection scheme for persons from the former Yugoslavia and, therefore, the existing general regime is applied. To date, no applicants have been granted refugee status. A number of them have, however, been allowed to stay on humanitarian grounds pending the end of the conflict. A policy of no return to conflict areas is being pursued with regard to rejectees.

Procedure

Persons from the former Yugoslavia may apply for asylum with the Ministry of Public Order which is entrusted with the implementation of the national procedure for the determination of refugee status. On private initiatives, a small number of children from conflict areas were hosted by Greek families for a short period of time and a programme hosted by the Central Association of Greek Municipalities and Communities (CAGMC) granted 523 children and some 35 teachers from conflict areas visas as from 26 February 1994 for an initial period of 6 months. In early December 1994, representatives of CAGMC were in Belgrade to prepare the second phase of this initiative for another 6 months.

Access to Eligibility Procedure

Between June and December 21, 1994, 52 persons from former Yugoslavia applied for asylum in Greece. Although statistics of the Greek authorities do not indicate ethnic origin, it is assumed that the majority of asylum-seekers are of Serbian origin. In some 40% of the cases decided, the applicants have been allowed to stay for humanitarian reasons until they are able to return to their country of origin.

Standards

Persons allowed by the authorities to stay on humanitarian grounds until the end of hostilities are not granted rights to work, training, education, family reunion or social benefits. UNHCR provides basic assistance to needy cases.

Visa policy

There is generally a visa requirement for citizens of the former Yugoslavia. For persons from FRY (Serbia and Montenegro), visas are only issued for tourism purposes as well as for authorized cultural and sports events. For persons from the Republics of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, visas are granted for other purposes. There is no longer a visa requirement for Slovenians following a recent Greco/Slovenian agreement for the abolition of visas. (Law 2197/1994 authorized the opening of Greek Embassies in Slovenia and Croatia and a general Consulate at Potgoritsa in the FRY. A Greco/Croatian agreement for the abolition of visas is reportedly being negotiated.

Figures

Temporary protection offered to UNHCR for ex-detainees and other vulnerable groups is 150, of which some 30 persons arrived in Greece and were treated in Greek hospitals.

Voluntary Repatriation

No scheme for voluntary repatriation exists.

HUNGARY

Legal Regime

The legal status of persons from the former Yugoslavia who benefit from temporary protection in Hungary is not defined by law. In practice, temporary protection is granted to all former Yugoslavs who so request upon or after entering Hungary.

Beneficiaries

See "Figures" below.

Procedure

Most people present themselves at the regular border crossing, with or without travel documents, and request protection from the border guards authorities. They are subsequently granted admission and referred to the competent refugee authorities and reception centres.

Access to Eligibility Procedure

The temporary protection regime does not prevent beneficiaries from applying for 1951 Convention refugee status. Those who are rejected at the end of the procedure will continue to qualify for temporary protection. No time limit on temporary protection has been imposed by the Hungarian government.

Standards

Once registered with the authorities, the persons in question are either directed to a refugee reception centre or privately accommodated. In the latter case, they are assisted through a system of food coupons. They are provided with medical care.

Right to Work

Contrary to those recognized under the 1951 Convention, persons enjoying temporary protection must apply for a work permit in order to exercise gainful employment. However, due to the high unemployment rate in Hungary, it is almost impossible for them to work legally.

Right to Education

Children of persons enjoying temporary protection have access to education.

Right to Family Reunion

Beneficiaries of temporary protection have the possibility of family reunion.

Issuance of Travel/Identity Documents

An identity document is granted upon registration to persons enjoying temporary protection, but they are not provided with Convention Travel Documents.

Comparison of Standards with those Accorded to Recognized Refugees and Asylum-seekers

Recognized refugees do not need a work permit and essentially enjoy the same rights as Hungarian nationals with the exception of the right to vote.

Cessation

No time frame has been imposed by the Hungarian authorities on the concept of temporary protection former persons from former Yugoslavia.

Visa Policy

There are no visa requirements for persons from the former Yugoslavia.

Figures

Since the beginning of the influx in the summer of 1991 until the end of 1994, some 1,073 former Yugoslav asylum-seekers have been granted Convention refugee status in Hungary. Although a precise ethnic breakdown is not available, figures show that until 1992, most of the former Yugoslavs recognized as Convention refugees in Hungary were Croatians of Hungarian ethnic origin. From 1992 until December 1994, persons from the former Yugoslavia recognized as Convention refugees are mainly ethnic Hungarians (from Vojvodina) and Bosnian Muslims.

In addition to Convention refugees there are currently some 7,700 former Yugoslavs benefitting from temporary protection in Hungary. Approximately 35% of them are Bosnian Muslims and 33% are of ethnic Hungarian origin from Vojvodina/Serbia. Some 25% are Croats from UNPA East and the remaining 7% are Serbs and Kosovo Albanians. In addition, it is assessed by the Hungarian authorities that some 20,000 persons from the former Yugoslavia, who did not register and who are consequently not assisted by the authorities are presently in the country.

Voluntary Repatriation

No scheme for voluntary repatriation exists.

IRELAND

Legal Regime

Temporary protection cases are given permission to reside in the Republic of Ireland outside the Irish immigration rules. No legislation has been passed and temporary protection cases are dealt with on an ad hoc basis using existing administrative procedures. Two government decisions made in August 1992 and June 1993 were taken to allow entry of these cases.

Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries are largely of Bosnian origin. The initial group of 179 persons were selected from camps in Austria as a consequence of a bilateral agreement between the Irish and Austrian authorities. In addition, as of 31 December 1994, some 78 Medevac cases have been evacuated to Ireland under the UNHCR/IOM programme and have been granted Temporary Protection Status.

Procedure

All individuals admitted into Ireland have automatically been granted Temporary Protection Status.

Temporary protection beneficiaries are allowed to reside in Ireland initially for one year and thereafter permission to remain is renewable annually. They are eligible under present rules to apply for Irish citizenship after 5 years of ordinary residence in Ireland.

Access to Eligibility Procedure

Temporary protection beneficiaries can apply for refugee status.

Standards

Temporary protection beneficiaries receive the same benefits as Convention refugees with respect to rights to:

•           Work and/or to receive training;

•           Education;

•           Family reunion; and

•           Social and health benefits.

Beneficiaries also have limited rights regarding the issuance of travel documents.

Comparison of Standards with those Accorded to Recognized Refugees and Asylum-seekers

Refugees have the right to acquire a Convention Travel Document and enjoy an accelerated right to be considered for citizenship (in effect, persons granted refugee status can apply for naturalization after three years residence in Ireland). Temporary protection beneficiaries are treated in the same way as all non-national legal residents.

In practice, beneficiaries of temporary protection have the same rights as persons allowed to remain on humanitarian grounds in Ireland and benefit from more rights than asylum-seekers, i.e. asylum-seekers do not have the right to work in Ireland pending determination of their asylum claim and are not entitled to travel documents.

Cessation

There is no specific reference to cessation in the two relevant Government decisions.

Visa Policy

Visas are not required for holders of Slovenian passports. All other passport holders from the former Yugoslavia require visas to enter the Republic of Ireland. Visas are issued subject to the normal requirements, i.e. the authorities must be satisfied that the applicant has a bona fide reason for the application, has sufficient funds to support himself and will return home at the end of his stay.

Figures

178 persons and 193 dependents from the former Yugoslavia were granted permission to reside under the temporary protection programme as of 31 December 1994.

As of 31 December 1994, 6 persons had been granted refugee status and 14 were given humanitarian leave to remain in the country. 18 asylum applications were still pending.

ITALY

Legal Regime

Law 390/92 on extraordinary interventions of humanitarian character in favor of displaced persons of the Republics of former Yugoslavia of 24 September 1992 provides that persons who fled the conflict in the former Yugoslavia may obtain a renewable one year residence and work permit on humanitarian grounds. The Law also contains a special provision guaranteeing the admission of draft evaders and deserters from the former Yugoslavia for reasons of conscience.

Law 423 of 23 December 1991, which entered into force on 8 January 1992, provides that "Yugoslav citizens, who are members of the Italian minority and who were forced to leave their country because of the war or civil war events" may obtain a residence and work permit valid up to one year. They are also entitled to special social and educational benefits.

On 14 April 1994 a so-called "Direttiva" (Directive) was signed by the Minister of Social Affairs on behalf of the President of the Council of Ministers. This directive provides guidelines regarding certain aspects of the implementation of Law 390/92 (specifically envisaged by the same law), defines criteria and establishes a procedure regarding the entry into Italy of displaced persons and refugees from the former Yugoslavia. The directive includes the possibility for UNHCR to issue, to persons who are "in a certain condition of danger or are victims of a violation of rights acknowledged by Conventions and by international law", a letter certifying to the Italian authorities that a person is under the protection of UNHCR. Furthermore, this directive gives UNHCR Offices in former Yugoslavia the basis to issue - in certain cases - so-called "accompanying letters" to refugees in need of particular protection. On the basis of these letters, the respective persons will, in principle, be granted admission into Italy.

Beneficiaries

Citizens from the former Yugoslavia who left their country in order to flee the conflict and who entered Italy after 1 June 1991 may benefit from humanitarian status.

Procedure

Humanitarian sojourn permits are issued upon request by the Provincial Police Headquarters (Questure). Holders of this status are not precluded from applying for recognition of refugee status under the 1951 Convention.

Standards

Right to Work

Since April 1993, the humanitarian sojourn permit includes the right to work and since February 1994, entitlement to higher education (university, professional training etc.). Both entitlements are applicable to holders of permits issued prior to the entry into force of these measures.

Right to Education

Primary education is provided for children under 16 years of age.

Right to Family Reunion

Family members coming directly from the conflict zones in former Yugoslavia are admitted without having to undergo the normal procedure for family reunification. The Italian Government facilitates arrival in Italy for close relatives. Family reunification is also facilitated regarding family members displaced in other countries.

Social assistance

Destitute persons may be hosted in ad hoc reception centres, at the expense of the Italian Government. Others are assisted by local authorities, the Italian Red Cross, Caritas and other benevolent groups. Persons granted humanitarian status have access to the national health system.

Issuance of Travel/Identity Documents

Residence permits are issued annually to persons accepted on humanitarian grounds by the Provincial Police Headquarters (Questure). Recognized refugees have the right to obtain a Convention Travel Document.

Cessation

Humanitarian residence permits are renewed as long as the conflict in their respective countries/areas of origin persists.

Visa Policy

There are no visa requirements for citizens from the former Yugoslavia.

Figures

From 1 June 1991 to 15 February 1995, 302 asylum applications were filed from persons from the former Yugoslavia, of whom 70 were granted refugee status, 208 were rejected, 6 renounced their application, and 18 cases are still pending.

Of the 70 persons recognized, the following originated from:

Kosovo            14

Bosnia  11

Croatia 1

Serbia  3

Montenegro      6

FRY *  35

Of the 208 persons rejected in the procedure, the following originated from:

Kosovo            18

Bosnia  13

Croatia 1

Macedonia       4

Serbia  6

FRY *  166

* Ethnic group unspecified

A total 2,051 persons are hosted in reception centres as at 15 February 1995, originating from:

Bosnia  1,695

Croatia 105

Serbia  77

Kosovo            101

Slovenia           1

FRY *  72

* Ethnic group unspecified

54,600 persons were granted humanitarian residence permits since 1 June 1991. An additional 1,727 special residence permits were issued since June 1992 to persons belonging to the Italian minority.

Temporary protection offered to UNHCR for ex-detainees and other vulnerable groups is 400, of which 166 have so far been used by ex-detainees and their family members.

Voluntary Repatriation

An agreement was signed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IOM in order to implement a repatriation project for families from the former Yugoslavia, to be financed by Italy. Up to now, more than 150 families have been selected under the project for voluntary repatriation. The project envisages the creation of the conditions necessary for a convenient return to the place of origin.

The agreement follows contacts of the Italian Ministry of Foreign and Interior Affairs with the governments of Bosnia and Croatia and an enquiry carried out by IOM (charged by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in agreement with UNHCR) to monitor the will to return of former Yugoslav citizens hosted in Italian government reception centres.

LIECHTENSTEIN

Legal Regime

396 persons from former Yugoslavia are currently residing in Liechtenstein, of whom 105 persons were granted permission to remain in the country. The other 291 persons were granted short-term residence permits, partly on the grounds of the conflict in their home country and partly because their expulsion is technically impossible.

Standards

The 105 persons who have received a residence permit from the government are authorized to work. The remaining 291 are allowed to follow vocational training courses.

Visa policies

Liechtenstein has, on the basis of bilateral agreements, the same visa policies as Switzerland.

Figures

See under "Legal Regime".

LUXEMBOURG

Legal Regime

The temporary protection regime was set up as a result of a series of cabinet decisions of 31 July 1992, 25 June 1993, 5 November 1993 and 28 February 1994, the latter extending the sojourn of former Yugoslavs granted displaced persons status until July 1995. The decision also created a new legal immigrant status for former Yugoslavs who had acquired independent housing and gainful employment. As of December 1994, 477 persons had been granted this right.

Persons who do not fulfill the two criteria (housing and employment) to receive the regular immigration status are allowed to remain in Luxembourg under the displaced persons regime.

Beneficiaries

Bosnians originating from conflict zones in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bosnians formerly resident in Croatia may benefit from temporary protection.

Procedures

Applications for temporary protection should be submitted to the office within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs charged with handling all cases from the former Yugoslavia.

Standards

Beneficiaries of temporary protection have the right to work and children under 18 years have the right to education. They have access to social welfare and legal assistance. Travel documents are not granted.

Access to Eligibility Procedure

Persons benefitting from temporary protection may, in parallel or when temporary protected status is lifted, apply for refugee status.

Cessation

According to the 5 November 1993 cabinet decision persons from other regions than Bosnia Herzegovina will not benefit from temporary protection after January 1994. In some cases the persons concerned may be authorized to remain in Luxembourg as legal immigrants.

Visa Policy

Visas are required for persons from the Republic of Slovenia and FYR Macedonia who hold passports from the former Yugoslavia, FYR Macedonians who have a FYR Macedonian passport and Croats and Bosnians who respectively have a Croatian or Bosnian passport. Slovenians who have a Slovenian passport and nationals of FYR Macedonia may enter Luxembourg without a visa.

Figures

As of 31 December 1994, 477 persons had been granted the right to become regular immigrants after fulfilling the two criteria of acquiring independent housing and a job. 521 persons have not fulfilled this criteria, but maintain the right to remain in Luxembourg until July 1995.

Voluntary Repatriation

No scheme for voluntary repatriation exists.

THE NETHERLANDS

Legal Regime

In August 1992, the Netherlands introduced a temporary protection scheme for displaced persons originating from the former Yugoslavia, as a response to the appeal of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for temporary protection of this category of persons. Under this scheme persons originating from the former Yugoslavia are authorized to stay in the Netherlands and are issued a special displaced persons document which gives them access to the provisions scheme for the reception of displaced persons (TROO).

As a rule the displaced persons (TROO) scheme does not apply in cases where:

•           return is possible to countries other than the former Yugoslavia in which admission is guaranteed and where the person concerned had stayed previously; and

•           the person concerned constitutes a serious threat to public order, public peace and national security.

The scheme allows displaced persons to stay in the Netherlands on a temporary basis until the Netherlands Government judges the situation in the country of origin to have returned to normal. Requests for asylum or admission on any other basis are temporarily suspended.

The revised Aliens Act of 1 January 1994 introduced the provisional residence permit, which replaced the "displaced persons" rule for people from Bosnia Herzegovina The provisional residence permit offers these persons the possibility of temporary protection and accommodation in the Netherlands. Should the situation in the country of origin improve, the provisional residence permit may be withdrawn by a decision of the Minister of the Justice.

The provisional residence permit is issued for one year and must be renewed annually. Provided the general situation in the country of origin has not improved by then, the holder of the provisional residence permit may after 3 years apply for a residence permit on humanitarian grounds which, in principle, will be granted.

The distinction between "tolerated" persons and "displaced" persons has been maintained under the revised Aliens Act. Among other things, the distinction between the two categories effects the moment at which a provisional residence permit is granted. It is up to the Minister of Justice to decide which aliens are to be considered "displaced" and which "tolerated".

A "tolerated" person is an asylum seeker who may not, following examination of his claim, be considered eligible for a refugee status or a residence permit on humanitarian grounds, but who is not forcibly expelled in view of the general situation in his country of origin. In case a request to review his case does not reveal any new facts, upon which the original claim may be considered founded, he will be granted the provisional residence permit.

A "displaced" person is a person who is displaced as a result of sudden and large-scale disasters, such as civil war in his country of origin. Such persons are presently arriving in large numbers in the Netherlands. Owing to the situation in their country of origin, they cannot return there at present. The massive scale of the influx of "displaced" persons means that it is not possible to make a thorough examination, and the persons concerned are granted a provisional residence permit. The examination of their application will take place at a later stage. In practise, only persons from Bosnia Herzegovina may be considered "displaced" persons in the sense of the aforementioned provisions.

As of 13 April 1993 onwards, the Netherlands began examining the asylum applications lodged by displaced persons from the former Yugoslavia who had arrived before that date (approx. 13,500 persons). A large proportion of these applications have been examined, a majority of the applicants having received either refugee status or humanitarian status. About 10% were rejected.

From 13 April 1993 onwards the displaced persons scheme and the provisional scheme for the reception of displaced persons, extended until 1 January 1995, have only been available to Bosnians. The schemes are no longer applicable to nationals of Slovenia, Croatia, the FRY and nationals of FYR Macedonia. Nationals of these Republics have to go through the normal asylum procedure.

Beneficiaries

As a result of the introduction of the provisional residence permit for displaced persons by the revised Aliens Act of 1 January 1994, the TROO scheme will only apply to Bosnians who arrived before 1 January 1994. In order to process the cases in an orderly manner it was necessary to extend the scheme till 1 January 1995. Bosnians who arrived after 1 January 1994 will be covered by the provisions of the revised Aliens Act.

Cessation

Should the situation in the country of origin improve, the provisional residence permit may be withdrawn by a decision of the Minister of Justice. However, the request for refugee status which was suspended can be re-lodged by way of accelerated procedures.

Standards

Accommodation

In the Netherlands the provisional scheme for the reception of displaced persons consists of centralized reception in temporary reception centers. Displaced persons may also be provided with decentralized reception by third parties, e.g. by family or friends, host families or in accommodation made available by housing corporations.

Right to Work

Temporary protection is provided to displaced persons under the assumption that return will be possible in the future. However, as time elapses it is considered necessary to gradually begin integrating them. During the first year, the holder of a provisional residence permit is only entitled to basic education. In the second year, vocational training may follow and seasonal labor is allowed and, in the third year, access to the labor market is granted.

Right to Family Reunification

In the Netherlands, displaced persons who arrive in the country at the invitation of the Government may be considered for family reunification. This includes husband or wife and minor children.

A person holding a provisional residence permit is not entitled to family reunification but may, after three years, apply for a residence permit on humanitarian grounds, to receive this entitlement. Comparison of Standards with those Accorded to Recognized Refugees and Asylum-seekers

Entitlements under the displaced persons scheme are similar to those of asylum seekers. Holders of a provisional residence permit receive more favorable rights than those granted to asylum seekers, but not comparable to rights of those granted refugee status.

Access to Eligibility Procedure

The issuance of a provisional residence permit temporarily suspends the application for asylum. However, the asylum request will be considered on its own merits by the Minister of Justice in due course.

Visa policy

Initially, residents of the former Yugoslavia were not obliged to obtain a visa to enter the Benelux countries, however, on 1 July 1992, visa requirements were introduced. On 24 November 1992, the visa requirement was lifted for holders of Slovenian passports under an agreement with the Benelux countries, however still applies to holders of former Yugoslav passports, irrespective of their home Republic.

As with any other foreign national requiring a visa, visa applications from residents of the former Yugoslavia are assessed on the basis of general admission requirements. The applicant must have a specific destination, be in possession of a valid passport, have sufficient financial means for travel and accommodation and not present any threat to national security or public order (including international relations and foreign policy). If there is any doubt as to whether the applicant meets any of these criteria, the visa may only be issued on the authorization of the central authorities.

Individuals who are permitted to come to the Netherlands from war zones in former Yugoslavia are issued visas under the government's policy on displaced persons. Visa applications from individuals from the FRY are assessed in the light of the present boycott on the FRY under Security Council resolution No. 757.

Figures

Decisions made in 1993:

Region of
Origin:  A status VtV    Rejection          Other decisions Total

Bosnia  4,282   385      105      3,535   8,307

FRY (S/M)      3,136   650      789      2,695   7,270

Croatia 183      238      71        173      665

Slovenia           1          3          3          3          10

FYR Macedonia           1 13     157      23        194

Total    7,603   1,289   1,125   6,4291 6,446

A status = Refugee status

VtV = Permission to stay on humanitarian grounds

Other decisions = Permission to stay on other grounds (work contract, family reunion, accommodation by relatives who are legal residents, etc).

Asylum applications from the former Yugoslavia in the Netherlands:

1994 (Aug-Dec)           10,080

1993    15,243

1994 (Jan-June)           4,419

Total    29,742

Temporary Protection offered to UNHCR for ex-detainees and other vulnerable groups: is 200 cases/800 persons.

Voluntary Repatriation

No special assistance scheme for return in preparation. Some individuals have been assisted by IOM to return to their region of origin.

NEW ZEALAND

Temporary protection offered to UNHCR for ex-detainees and other vulnerable groups is 50 cases/200 persons. No scheme for voluntary repatriation exists.

NORWAY

Legal Regime

As of August 1992, Bosnians have been granted temporary protection on a collective basis. They are granted a work or residence permit which does not constitute a basis for permanent residence. A simplified procedure applies which requires only that the person in question is from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Individual needs for protection are not examined.

The processing of individual applications for asylum is suspended when protection on collective grounds is granted. The Norwegian Government has submitted a proposition to the Parliament stipulating that the processing of indivudal asylum applications from Bosnians enjoying collective protection may be suspended for up to three years.

The permits are normally issued for a period of 12 months. They are renewed if the collective need for protection prevails. In a White Paper on the Refugeee Policy the Government proposes that the Bosnians may be granted a 12-month work or residence permit which may constitute a basis for permanent residence if the need for protection still exisits after three years. If the need exists after this 4th year, the Bosnians may be granted permanent residence.

Procedure

Asylum applications by Bosnians have so far not been individually determined by the authorities. Asylum applications of persons arriving directly from other parts of the former Yugoslavia are processed individually in the normal asylum procedure and are generally considered in a generous manner.

Standards

General

Bosnians enjoying temporary protection on a collective basis in Norway generally have the same rights and obligations as persons granted residence on humanitarian grounds after an individual examination.

Accommodation

Newly arrived Bosnians are normally residing in state reception centres for asylum seekers. Later they are settled in ordinary houses in the municipalities.

Right to Work

Beneficiaries of temporary protection have the right to work.

Right to Education

The children of beneficiaries have the right to receive an education.

Issuance of Travel/Identity Documents

A registration document is issued to all asylum-seekers in Norway, including Bosnians. Bosnians are required to obtain travel documents from their country of origin. In some cases they may obtain an immigrants passport.

Right to Family Reunion

Bosnians who enjoy temporary protection have the right to family reunification with close family members.

Visa Policy

Citizens of Bosnia Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia and the FRY need visas to enter Norway. Citizens of Slovenia and Croatia do not require visas.

Figures

As of December 1994, 10,283 Bosnian had arrived in Norway and are enjoying temporary protection.

Resettlement places offered to UNHCR for ex-detainees and other vulnerable groups is 900 cases/3,200 persons.

Voluntary Repatriation

As of yet, 41 persons with temporary protection on a collective basis have returned voluntarily to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Normally, their travel ticket to Zagreb (but not to their final destination) is covered.

POLAND

Procedures

Citizens from the former Yugoslavia may apply for refugee status with the Polish authorities. Those who do not wish to enter the governmental refugee scheme may extend their stay by applying for a renewal of their visas. Poland has no formal scheme for temporary protection. In 1994, the Polish authorities recognized most of the Bosnian applicants. As of 29 December 1994, the number of recognized Bosnians staying in Poland is 238 persons.

Standards

Former Yugoslavs who apply for refugee status as well as recognized refugees normally receive accommodation (in 4 collective centres), food, medical care, pocket money and educational/integrational possibilities. Ad hoc assistance may be provided by local social welfare authorities on the basis of a bilateral agreement between the former Yugoslavia and Poland.

Most Bosnians have been provided with a Polish CTD permit and a 06 visa, which allows them the unrestricted right to work. In addition, the Polish government, with the financial support of UNHCR, implemented an integration programme, which includes Polish language training, vocational training, and some income generating activities.

Visa Policy

On 1 July 1993, Poland introduced a visa requirement for citizens from the FRY (Serbia and Montenegro) and Bosnia Herzegovina. Citizens from other parts of the former Yugoslavia do not require a visa.

Figures

During 1994, the number of Bosnians in Poland decreased rapidly (from 595 in July 1994 to 238 at end December 1994). Some Bosnians have left Poland to join their families in other countries, however most have left spontaneously to another country.

The total number of asylum applications in 1994 was 57, of whom 38 originated from Bosnia and Herzegovina, 15 from FRY and 4 from Croatia. A total 238 persons have received refugee status.

Temporary protection offered to UNHCR for ex-detainees and other vulnerable groups is 300 cases/1,000 persons.

Voluntary Repatriation

Several Bosnians have asked the UNHCR Liaison Office in Warsaw about return assistance, but so far no return assistance scheme exists.

PORTUGAL

Procedure

Persons fleeing the conflict in the former Yugoslavia are allowed to apply for asylum. Since September 1993, most asylum-seekers have been granted full residence status, on humanitarian grounds, after being processed in the accelerated eligibility procedure.

A group of 134 Bosnians who arrived in Portugal in September 1992 under an ad hoc humanitarian project supported by NGOs and the Government were exceptionally authorized to enter and remain in Portugal for one year. Upon expiry of this authorization they were granted immigrant status. They could thus remain in Portugal, subject to the Portuguese aliens legislation. 7 Bosnians who joined their relatives in the above group in January 1993 have also been granted immigrant status.

Standards

Accommodation

The majority of Bosnians, former beneficiaries of temporary protection, were accommodated by the Islamic Community of Lisbon, 6 families by the Santa Casa de Misericordia (i.e. a public welfare institution) and 2 families had been given accommodation by Portuguese families. As of December 1993, the Islamic Community gradually reduced, in order to ultimately withdraw completely, assistance for accommodation to families able to support themselves. As of May 1944, UNHCR has taken over the provision of material assistance for one vulnerable family.

Right to Work

Although beneficiaries of temporary protection, before being granted immigrant status, had no right to work, in practice, the authorities were tolerant with regard to Bosnians seeking employment. Bosnians are allowed to attend schools and receive public medical assistance.

Issuance of Travel/Identity Documents

Beneficiaries of immigrant status are entitled to rights similar to those of Portuguese nationals with the exception of political rights. Hence, they are inter alia entitled to receive identity documents.

Right to Family Reunion

Requests for family reunion can be taken into consideration on a case-by-case basis at least for parents and children and for spouses.

Comparison of Standards with those Accorded to Recognized Refugees and Asylum-seekers

Recognized refugees benefit in practice from the same rights/entitlements as legal immigrants (plus, in case of need, from assistance under the UNHCR project). These rights are similar to those enjoyed by Portuguese citizens with the exception of the right to vote.

Asylum seekers whose applications are processed through the "ordinary procedure" (i.e. at present no one) can benefit from general public welfare services (schools, health and social security assistance) but are not allowed to work. As of August 1993, asylum seekers in "accelerated procedures" normally do not receive any support from the Government.

Visa Policy

Entry visas are not required for tourists from the Republics of Croatia, Slovenia and for those holding valid passports of the former Yugoslavia staying in Portugal up to 90 days. All other citizens from the former Yugoslavia are requested to have an entry visa.

Figures

As of December 1994, after the resettlement of a few families to Canada and different European countries and of several families to Malaysia, some 60 former Yugoslavs are estimated to benefit from protection in Portugal.

Voluntary Repatriation

So far, no scheme for voluntary repatriation exists; however, there have been several requests for UNHCR assistance for return to Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia. One family is reported to have departed to Serbia.

SLOVAK REPUBLIC

Legal Regime

Temporary protection for "victims of the conflict in former Yugoslavia" is provided by a Government decision no. 1136 of 15 November 1994, which was extended until 30 June 1995. Persons coming from the former Yugoslavia may also apply for refugee status in accordance with the procedure established by the 1990 CSFR Law on Refugees. The vast majority of persons from former Yugoslavia have chosen to apply for temporary protection.

Beneficiaries

Since 30 April 1993, temporary protection has been granted only to persons coming from Bosnia Herzegovina.

Procedure

A person wishing to apply for temporary protection can register at any office of the Aliens and Border Police. If temporary protection is denied, the applicant has the right to appeal, however few have, in practise, exercised this right.

Standards

Accommodation

Persons benefitting from temporary refuge are accommodated either in humanitarian centres operated by the Government, through a host family scheme supported by the Government or individually. Those who are in need of assistance are accommodated in the humanitarian centres and are the same treatment as asylum seekers, i.e. food, basic medical care, pocket money and support for primary education.

Right to Work

In principle, persons receiving temporary refuge may apply for a work permit with the local labor office. Several hundred beneficiaries have applied for longer residence permits in order to have easier access to the labor market.

Right to Education

Children can attend schools in the humanitarian centres, where classes are organized by other beneficiaries.

Social Assistance

Arrangements exist for social benefits to be granted to persons staying with host families and to the host family.

Issuance of Travel/Identity Documents

Temporary identity cards are issued by the Aliens and Borders Police to persons benefitting from temporary protection.

Visa Policy

A visa requirement for citizens of the republics of the former Yugoslavia was announced on 8 February 1994 and entered into force during the second quarter of the year.

Figures

As of 31 December 1994, the following figures were reported:

Persons accommodated in humanitarian centres:            458

Persons in the host family scheme:         673

Estimated number of persons who formerly had temporary
protection status and who applied for a longer-term residence permit:    890

Voluntary Repatriation

As of 31 December 1994, an estimated 20 persons had repatriated to their country/region of origin.

SLOVENIA

Beneficiaries

By the end of November 1994, 25,000 persons originating from Bosnia Herzegovina are have registered in Slovenia. It is estimated that an additional 5,000 remain unregistered in the country. Of the registered caseload, 65% are from Serb-held areas in Bosnia Herzegovina and 35% are from Bosnian-held areas.

Voluntary Repatriation

The temporary permit to remain in Slovenia of some 700-1,000 refugees from Croatia has not been extended following a decision that Croatia should be considered safe for repatriation. Each case will be examined individually and those who are not able to return to Croatia (i.e. those who originate from occupied regions or wish to stay in Slovenia because of family links) could be eligible to apply for a legal status under the Law on Foreigners. The remainder are obliged to return to Croatia.

There is no repatriation related assistance presently offered by the Slovenian authorities, however the Office for Immigration and Refugees is planning to offer voluntary repatriation facilities if needed in 1995.

SPAIN

Legal Regime

Temporary protection has been granted to displaced persons from former Yugoslavia on the basis of:

•           Article 12.4 of the Law on Foreigners' Rights and Liberties in Spain;

•           Instruction no. 2/91 of the Department for Security of State on the procedure for granting Temporary Protection cards;

•           Royal Decree No. 1119/86 of 26 May and No. 530/85 of 8 April; and

•           Instruction of May 1993 from the General Department for Migration on the procedure for validating work permits issued in the Temporary Protection card.

Since the implementation of Law 9/94 amending the former law 5/84 on Asylum and Refugee status, the legal basis for temporary protection can be also found in Article 17.2 of the above-mentioned law, according to which the Ministers of Justice and Interior can authorize, in the framework of the general legislation for aliens, the permanence in Spain of those persons whose asylum applications have not been admitted or rejected, especially when those persons have fled from their countries owing to serious political, ethnic or religious strife and do not meet the criteria of the 1951 Geneva Convention. Moreover, the draft implementing decree to the law 9/94 presently under the consideration of the Council of State, foresees the creation of a "Temporary Protection Status" under the asylum legislation.

Beneficiaries

Before the introduction of the new asylum legislation in June 1994, the legal provisions concerning temporary protection were applicable only to an expected group of 1,500 former Yugoslavs accepted temporarily in Spain through the sponsorship of Spanish NGOs and other public municipal institutions. Initially this group was expected only to remain until early 1993, however, as the conflict in former Yugoslavia continued, they were allowed to remain.

Procedure

There are no temporary protection procedures as such in Spain. The aforementioned provisions in the Aliens and Asylum legislation allow the granting of a temporary residence permit (6 months) under certain circumstances and under the regular aliens' legislation procedures.

The granting of temporary protection depends on a decision from the government, as was the case with the displaced persons from former Yugoslavia accepted under the sponsorship of several NGOs and other institutions, and more recently with the group of 70 Cubans accepted from the Guantanamo and Panama US Navy bases. These decisions can also be made after the exhaustion of the asylum procedure (for individuals who spontaneously arrived) on behalf of rejected asylum applicants.

Temporary residence cards are issued to persons from former Yugoslavia wishing to remain in Spain and are renewed automatically. The residence cards can be used as work permits as long as the holder has a work contract.

As mentioned above, temporary protection can also be granted in a discretionary manner to individual asylum-seekers who spontaneously arrive and who are denied admission to or are rejected in the refugee status determination procedures. Once the Inter-Ministerial Eligibility Commission recommends the granting of temporary protection after an asylum application has been rejected, the competent authorities are requested to grant and issue temporary residence cards. 90% of these temporary residence cards have been granted to Bosnians.

Ex-detainees from concentration camps in former Yugoslavia who resettled in Spain under the UNHCR Medical Evacuation Programme are granted Convention refugee status and the right to family reunion.

Access to Eligibility Procedure

Bosnians arriving in Spain under NGO-sponsored programmes or spontaneously may apply for asylum and, if their applications are rejected, are allowed to remain on temporary grounds in the country.

Cessation

In the event the situation in the former Yugoslavia improves, persons granted temporary protection will have the possibility to regularize their residence in Spain as regular aliens under the Aliens' Law if they do not wish to return to their home country/region.

Standards

General An ad hoc Working Group composed of representatives from various Ministries and NGOs has been established in order to study and find solutions to the situation of the persons from former Yugoslavia accepted by Spain under the temporary protection scheme, such as establishing family reunion criteria.

In the event the draft implementing decree presently under consideration by the Council of State, foreseeing the creation of a "Temporary Protection Status" is adopted, all persons granted temporary protection will enjoy the same welfare benefits granted to recognized refugees. They will also be issued work permits on a case-by-case basis if they find employment.

Right to Work

Persons enjoying temporary protection are allowed to work on a case-by-case basis, and have access to basic language courses.

Right to Education

Spanish law provides compulsory schooling for children free of charge.

Right to Family Reunion

Family reunion is possible only if sponsored by an NGO or the persons concerned.

Social Assistance

Regional governments (autonomous communities) and municipalities grant medical assistance to beneficiaries residing in the territory for which they are competent.

Comparison of Standards to those Accorded to Recognized Refugees and Asylum-seekers

Asylum-seekers are entitled to medical assistance through the Spanish Red Cross. In some instances, the Ministry of Social Affairs agrees to provide them with other benefits such as lodging assistance after the situation of the persons concerned has been evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Since the implementation of the asylum law 9/94 on 13 June 1994, recognized refugees are entitled to reside and work in Spain without limitations, as well as to benefit from the Spanish social welfare entitlements. They are also entitled to family reunion and to special welfare assistance for integration purposes on a case-by-case basis after an assessment from the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Persons granted temporary protection are not entitled, in principle, to receive medical, educational, financial or other assistance. However, some municipalities and regional governments grant education and medical assistance to persons residing in their territory.

Voluntary Repatriation

Although no return assistance scheme exists, 3 individual cases have voluntarily repatriated to Bosnia Herzegovina through Spanish NGOs and with government funds. No information is available concerning voluntary returnees under the NGO private programmes.

SWEDEN

Legal Regime

Bosnians arriving in Sweden who wish to apply for asylum enter the normal asylum procedure. No temporary protection scheme has been introduced for this group. Pursuant to an amendment in the aliens law which entered into force on 1 July 1994, persons other than Bosnians can receive temporary protection if they have fled a conflict area and otherwise do not have a claim for asylum. Temporary protection will be granted for 6 months at a time for a maximum of 1 year. Persons in this category are treated as asylum-seekers during this period and are expected to eventually return to the country of origin.

Procedure

Asylum-seekers from the former Yugoslavia enter the normal eligibility procedure in Sweden. The vast majority receive humanitarian status (see "Figures" below). 5% have been granted 1951 Convention or de facto status and approximately 3% are rejected. Decisions on cases involving Bosnians who have committed a criminal offence are held pending by the immigration authorities.

Standards

Asylum-seekers and refugees from the former Yugoslavia receive the same assistance as other nationalities with the same status. Once they have been issued residence permits (whether under Convention, de facto, or humanitarian status), they are granted the right to work, to education and to family reunion. They are also issued a travel document according to the status which they have been granted.

Visa Policy

Citizens of Bosnia, FYR Macedonia and the FRY require a visa to enter Sweden.

Figures

As of December 1994, approximately 48,500 Bosnians had been issued a residence permit to remain in Sweden, the vast majority on humanitarian grounds.

Resettlement offered to UNHCR for ex-detainees and other vulnerable groups in 1992/93 was 150 cases/600 persons and in 1993/94, 2,000 cases/7,000 persons. The resettlement quota for 1994/95 is 1,800 world-wide, including persons from the former Yugoslavia.

Voluntary Repatriation

So far there have been no returns to Bosnia Herzegovina. Persons wishing to return are treated as other asylum-seekers or permanent residents respectively.

SWITZERLAND

Legal Regime

Temporary protection is granted in Switzerland on the basis of the following:

•           Asylum law of 5 October 1979;

•           Aliens law of 26 March 1931; and

•           "Directive relative à l'admission collective provisoire de groupes d'étrangers provenant du territoire de l'ex-Yougoslavie et appartenant à des catégories déterminées" of 30 March 1994, whereby persons in this category are issued an "F permit" (see below).

•           Circular concerning "Réglement des conditions de séjour des personnes domiciliées en dernier lieu en Bosnie-Herzegovine" of 30 March 1994, under which persons in this category receive an "L permit" (see below).

The above directive and circular are both expected to be updated at the end of March 1995. Under the directive, the Federal Council established special admission arrangements for various groups from the former Yugoslavia, namely:

•           deserters and draft evaders from the former Yugoslavia with the exception of FYR Macedonia and the Republic of Slovenia;

•           displaced persons and children from the Republics of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (1,000 children and 1,000 who were blocked in trains), within the framework of a special action programme;

•           persons from the former Yugoslavia who were last residing in Bosnia and who depend on public assistance, with the exception of Bosnians having another citizenship.

The Swiss authorities are competent to determine whether or not a person belongs to one of the above categories. If so, his/her spouse and minor children (and other family members, if dependent on relatives living in Switzerland) may obtain a temporary residence (or "F") permit. The date of the general withdrawal of this permit will be decided by the Federal Council. Persons who spontaneously request asylum and are not granted refugee status after a normal procedure can also be issued an "F permit" if they belong to one of the aforementioned categories.

According to the circular of March 1994, persons fulfilling the following criteria are eligible for a short-term permit (or "L" permit):

•           Actual or last residence is/was in Bosnia and Herzegovina;

•           Either a seasonal worker when the conflict began or an asylum-seeker;

•           Not dependent on public assistance.

The "L permit" is due to expire on 30 April 1995. In view of the situation in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina it is assumed that it will be renewed by the Federal Council for an additional 12 months.

Procedure

All citizens of the former Yugoslavia may apply for asylum under the normal procedure. Temporary admission under the above-mentioned directive and circular is granted by the Federal Office for Refugees.

Standards

The "F permit" is only valid in the canton of residence. Holders are entitled to social assistance, the right to work depending on the prevailing economic situation and employment rate in the Canton, and the right to schooling, which is financed by the Cantons.

Holders of the "L permit" are generally not entitled to social care, nor are granted schooling or permission to work, unless they were previously working as seasonal workers. They may, however, be allowed to work on a provisional basis if they have stayed more than 2 years under the "L-permit" regime and the prevailing economic situation allows it. Their stay is regulated by the Federal Office for Foreigners but the expense of the stay is not borne by the Swiss Confederation. They may however request asylum and receive an "F permit" if their relatives or friends can no longer assist them.

Visa Policy

In January 1992, Switzerland introduced a visa requirement for all citizens from the former Yugoslavia. However, on 1 July 1992, it was decided to facilitate the granting of visas to Bosnians who reside in Bosnia Herzegovina or who were residing there and who fled to the Republics of Croatia or Slovenia due to the war. To qualify for a visa, Bosnians must have close relatives or friends with residence permits in Switzerland.

Figures

Situation as of 31 December 1994:

Recognized refugees(*) 4,790

Temporary residence permits(**)
Total    20,457

of whom:
Bosnia-H          9,755
FRY (S/M)      10,422
Croatia 199
FYR Macedonia           81
Slovenia           0
Pending asylum cases    7,281
TOTAL            32,528

(*) Persons recognized as refugees both as a result of an individual asylum procedure and as a result of special admission arrangements.

(**) Various groups, e.g. people blocked in trains, Bosnians not recognized as refugees, deserters and draft evaders.

It is estimated that, in addition, tens of thousands of persons are staying in Switzerland as a result of the conflict in former Yugoslavia without a permit, including those who were issued visas.

Resettlement offered to UNHCR for ex-detainees and other vulnerable groups is 1500 cases/4,200 including families.

Voluntary Repatriation

There are no return assistance schemes specifically designed for persons who originate from Bosnia and Herzegovina, as large-scale repatriation to Bosnia and Herzegovina is not envisaged. Individuals returning are, in general, eligible for limited financial assistance.

TURKEY

Procedure

Persons fleeing the conflict in the former Yugoslavia (mainly Bosnians) are allowed to remain in Turkey as long as required i.e. until circumstances have changed in Bosnia allowing them to return.

Access to Eligibility Procedure

Beneficiaries of temporary protection from former Yugoslavia do not have simultaneous access to asylum procedures in Turkey.

Standards

Accommodation

The persons concerned are accommodated either in camps or privately.

Right to Education

The right to education is provided for children of beneficiaries.

Right to Family Reunion

Bosnians have an implicit right to family reunion. Relatives wishing to join them in Turkey are allowed to do so without a formal procedure.

Social Assistance

Social assistance is provided in the camps, particularly in Kirklareli Camp where refugees have access to a dispensary and a dental clinic. Those privately accommodated benefit from medical care in public hospitals, including Bosnians suffering from war injuries. The authorities are investigating the possibility of extending treatment to other cases.

Cessation

The application of cessation for temporary protection has not been discussed.

Visa Policy

Holders of passports issued in the Republics of Slovenia, Croatia and FYR Macedonia are allowed to remain in Turkey without a visa for 2 months. Visas for Bosnians have been recently extended to May 1994. Before this date, the Turkish authorities will take the decision to renew them or not for a period of 6 months, based on an evaluation of the situation in Bosnia.

Figures

An estimated 18,000 to 30,000 persons originating from Bosnia and Herzegovina are residing in Turkey.

Voluntary Repatriation

No scheme for voluntary repatriation exists.

UNITED KINGDOM

Legal Regime

There is no specific legislation which applies to temporary protection cases in the United Kingdom. Persons arriving from the former Yugoslavia are granted leave to enter the United Kingdom on an exceptional basis outside the Immigration Rules.

Beneficiaries

In September 1992, in response to a specific request from the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Government agreed to admit 68 seriously ill or wounded from the Serb detention camp of Manjaca. It was agreed that these people would be entitled to family reunion with their spouse and minor children. It was also agreed that the Home Office would look at, on a case-by-case basis, the admission of elderly or ill parents who were dependent on their children.

In December 1992, in response to the UNHCR appeal, the Government announced a quota of 1,000 persons from the former Yugoslavia falling within the following categories: ex-detainees and dependents, medical evacuees and dependents and vulnerable cases (normally relatives of the first two categories) and dependents. The 1,000 principal visas have all been allocated as of 31 December 1994 and there are no plans for the quota to be extended.

Procedures

Temporary protection status has been granted automatically by the authorities to persons admitted within the ex-detainee programme and for individuals admitted for medical treatment under the UNHCR/IOM programme. Temporary protection beneficiaries are granted leave to enter the United Kingdom for an initial period of 6 months. Grants of further leave to remain are issued every 12 months, following consideration by the Home Office. It is foreseen that such leave will continue to be extended until the Home Office and international aid agencies consider that the situation in the former Yugoslavia is safe for return.

Access to Eligibility Procedure

Individuals who have benefitted from temporary protection have access to eligibility procedures. If an individual with temporary protection wishes to apply for refugee status, he must apply to the Home Office separately. Upon such an application, the temporary protection status would be withdrawn and the applicant would be issued a Standard Acknowledgment Letter stating that he is an asylum-seeker.

Standards

Right to Work

Temporary protection beneficiaries have the same right to work and/or receive training as nationals and refugees, although if they wish to work or live in the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands they must request permission from the island immigration authorities.

Right to Education

Beneficiaries are granted the same right to education as nationals, apart from the requirement to fulfill three years ordinary residence in the United Kingdom to qualify for a grant.

Right of Family Reunion

Temporary protection beneficiaries are granted the same rights regarding family reunion as those of refugees.

Social Assistance

Social and health benefits are provided at the same standards as those given to nationals and refugees.

Issuance of Travel/Identity Documents

Persons with temporary protection are entitled to travel on their own national passports providing their leave to remain in the United Kingdom is still valid. In addition, the Home office will issue a travel document to any person who is accepted under the 1,000 quota who is not in possession of a national passport.

Comparison of Standards with those Accorded to Recognized Refugees and Asylum-seekers

Refugees have marginally more rights than beneficiaries of temporary protection given the permanent status of refugees (barring the application of cessation clauses).

Beneficiaries of temporary protection have marginally more rights than those granted Exceptional Leave to Remain (ELR), as persons with ELR are not entitled to family reunion until four years after the date ELR is first granted.

Persons granted temporary protection acquire more rights than those of asylum-seekers, in that asylum-seekers are not entitled to family reunion and have only a limited right to social benefits. Asylum-seekers are not generally able to leave the United Kingdom pending the outcome of their claim and are only allowed to work from 6 months after the date their asylum application was made.

Cessation

There is no specific reference to cessation.

Visa Policy

No visas are required for holders of Slovenian and Croatian passports. All other passport holders from former Yugoslavia have required visas to enter the United Kingdom since November 1992.

Figures

As of 5 January 1995, all 1,000 principal visas had been allocated by the Home Office. Of these, 836 had arrived in the United Kingdom, comprising of 403 ex-detainees, 77 Medevac cases and 356 vulnerable cases. In addition, 1,134 dependents had arrived.

As of 31 December 1994, 5,990 persons from the former Yugoslavia had asylum applications pending.

Between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994, 25 persons from the former Yugoslavia received refugee status and 1,265 were granted Exceptional Leave to Remain.

As mentioned above, resettlement places offered to UNHCR for ex-detainees and other vulnerable groups is 1000 cases/4,000 including families (spouses and minor children).

Voluntary Repatriation

The only existing return programme in operation is one for the medical evacuees under the UNHCR/IOM Medevac programme. No government-supported return assistance scheme is operating in the UK.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Legal Regime

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) contains provisions for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for persons already in the U.S. The U.S. Attorney General has the authority to designate countries to which TPS would apply. As regards Bosnia and Herzegovina, a decision was taken on 10 August 1992 to grant TPS to all Bosnian nationals and residents who were in the U.S. on that date, provided that they registered with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. TPS is granted to them for an initial period of 1 year and is renewable. The original designation period was extended on 11 August 1993 for an additional 1 year.

Beneficiaries

Persons coming from places other than Bosnia and Herzegovina in the former Yugoslavia do not benefit from TPS, but have the right to apply for asylum. Their applications are considered in the normal asylum procedure.

Procedure

Persons who had previously been granted TPS could register from 29 July to 30 August 1993. New applications were accepted between 29 July and 10 August 1993. In November 1993, registration for TPS was extended to those individuals who held immigrant or non-immigrant status during the first designation period, did not apply for TPS but whose status expiration was pending. In these cases, the applicant must register within 30 days of the expiration of the status or 90 days from 5 November 1994 whichever comes later. TPS does not exclude the right to apply for asylum.

Standards

All persons granted TPS are protected against forced return, are eligible for employment and may travel abroad with the prior consent of the Attorney General.

Visa Policy

All citizens of the former Yugoslavia require a visa to enter the U.S..

Figures

As of 31 December 1994, 219 persons from the former Yugoslavia had been granted TPS.

In addition, 245 Bosnians and 1,386 from other regions in former Yugoslavia had applied for asylum, of whom 127 and 422 respectively have so far been granted refugee status.

Resettlement places offered to UNHCR for ex-detainees and other vulnerable groups were in 1992/93 300 cases/1000 persons and, in 1993/94, 3000 cases/10,000 persons. A total 3,209 were resettled in the U.S. under this quota.

ANNEX
Temporary Protection as a Pragmatic Tool for Meeting the Need for International Protection of Refugees, including those Outside the Scope of the 1951 Convention[1]

UNHCR considers that the pragmatic approach adopted by the international community, in cooperation with UNHCR, in providing temporary protection to victims of the conflict and systematic human rights abuses in the former Yugoslavia, whether or not they were refugees under the 1951 Convention, brings together a number of elements that deserve consideration in connection with efforts to meet global protection needs. The aspects of temporary protection that may be relevant to meeting the need for international protection in a broader context include:

(i)         its use as a tool to meet protection needs in mass outflows;

(ii)        the definition of beneficiaries on the basis of the need for international protection;

(iii)       the description of the basic elements of protection;

(iv)       the focus on return as the most appropriate solution; and

(v)        the provision of international protection as part of a comprehensive programme of concerted international action that includes prevention and solutions.

Each of these aspects is discussed in turn in the following paragraphs.

Meeting urgent protection needs in mass refugee flows:

Temporary protection has served as a means, in situations of mass outflow, for providing refuge to groups or categories of persons recognized to be in need of international protection, without recourse, at least initially, to individual refugee status determination. It includes respect for basic human rights but, since it is conceived as an emergency protection measure of hopefully short duration, a more limited range of rights and benefits are offered in the initial stage than would customarily be accorded to refugees granted asylum under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol. In many respects it is a variation of the admission and temporary refuge based on prima facie or group determinations of the need for international protection that have been used frequently to deal with mass flows of refugees in other parts of the world.

These have been the subject of discussions in the UNHCR Executive Committee Sub-Committee of the Whole on International Protection on the basis, inter alia, of the report of a Group of Experts on temporary refuge in situations of large-scale influx, which led to the adoption by the Executive Committee in 1981 of Conclusion No. 22 (XXXII) on the protection of asylum-seekers in such situations. In the situation in the former Yugoslavia, the value of temporary protection in affording protection to those who needed it without overburdening individual eligibility procedures appears to have been demonstrated, although several States subsequently proceeded to conduct individual determination.

The definition of beneficiaries on the basis of the need for international protection:

With respect to refugees fleeing the conflict and human rights abuses in the former Yugoslavia, temporary protection was recommended for:

•           persons who had fled from areas affected by conflict and violence;

•           persons who had been or would be exposed to human rights abuses, including those belonging to groups compelled to leave their homes by campaigns of ethnic or religious persecution; and

•           persons who for other reasons specific to their personal situation are presumed to be in need of protection.

In practice, the beneficiaries of temporary protection as so described would be the same as those covered in other regions by the OAU Refugee Convention or the Cartagena Declaration, and refugees granted asylum on a temporary basis in other regions without the benefit of any international legal instrument. States providing temporary protection have acted on the basis of a broad consensus on the need for international protection, without initially addressing the issue of whether those concerned were or were not refugees as defined in the 1951 Convention or any other legal instrument. Beneficiaries of temporary protection have in fact included both persons who clearly qualified as refugees under the Convention and others who might not.

The basic elements of temporary protection:

The basic elements and standards of treatment agreed upon for the refugees benefiting from temporary protection approximate the minimum protection required by anyone in need of international protection. These include:

•           admission to safety in the country of refuge;

•           respect for basic human rights, with treatment in accordance with internationally recognized humanitarian standards such as those outlined in Conclusion 22 (XXXII) of the Executive Committee;

•           protection against refoulement;

•           repatriation when conditions in the country of origin allow.

The appropriate standards of treatment for refugees benefiting from temporary protection has been the subject of extensive discussion in the context of persons fleeing the conflict and human rights abuses in the former Yugoslavia. There was general agreement on the need for progressive improvements in standards beyond the minimum in Conclusion 22 (XXXII) when the period of temporary protection is prolonged.

The actual levels of treatment depend on the reception capacity, the prevailing system of social benefits and the economic situation of the asylum country. Some national authorities contend that employment, educational opportunities and a certain measure of economic and social integration in the country of asylum are important for refugees' well-being, including their psychological and physical health, even when eventual voluntary repatriation is the expected long term solution.

Since it is often impossible to predict with certainty when or even whether safe return will be possible, measures of partial integration may also benefit the asylum country in the event that the refugees do become permanent residents. In accordance with the principle of non-discrimination, any substantial differences in the standards of treatment of different groups of refugees should be related to genuine differences in their situation, such as, for example, the reasonable expectation that the stay of a particular group in the country of refuge was expected to be of short duration.

Focus on return as the most appropriate solution:

One of the principal reasons for applying the term "temporary" to protection given to persons fleeing conflicts or acute crises in their country of origin is the expectation - or at least the hope - that international efforts to resolve the crisis will, within a fairly short period, produce results that will enable the refugees to exercise their right to return home in safety. This focus on return as the most likely and appropriate solution to a particular refugee situation also provides the rationale for standards of treatment which emphasize the provisional aspect of the refugees' stay in the country of asylum, and minimize, at least in the initial stages, efforts to promote integration, which have traditionally been central to refugee reception policies in the countries concerned.

Asylum is provided as a measure of protection, rather than as a durable solution. As the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina shows, hopes for an early safe return are not always realized, and at a certain point the refugees' need for stability and greater certainty may call for standards of treatment more appropriate for a prolonged stay, and even eventual conversion to a more definitive status. (It has in fact been observed that the point at which countries of asylum find it necessary to regularize the situation of refugees admitted temporarily is often reached sooner than a resolution of the crisis that would permit safe return.) Up to, and even after, that point, temporary protection arrangements offer a means of ensuring protection for so long as it is needed while continuing to favour repatriation as the preferred solution. This focus on return must also include preparations and practical arrangements for repatriation, reintegration and rehabilitation in the country of origin when and if conditions permit. Temporary protection, like refugee status, should last as long as there remains a need for international protection (or until conversion to a more permanent status). If conditions in the country of origin change sufficiently for the better to make possible the refugees' return in safety and dignity, arrangements can be made, in consultation with UNHCR, for temporary protection to be phased out, ideally through voluntary repatriation.

Temporary protection as an element of a comprehensive approach:

Temporary protection should be one component in a comprehensive approach, involving concerted efforts on the part of the international community to achieve a solution to the conflict that will enable those who have fled to return home in safety and dignity. It also implies burden sharing and international solidarity, including assistance, where required, to the countries most directly affected. In the case of the former Yugoslavia this has also included reception of refugees, particularly the most vulnerable, outside the immediately affected region. Temporary protection would make little sense as a strategy if it were divorced from efforts to address the causes and to attain solutions to the refugee problem.

In this respect temporary protection represents one of the variable approaches to asylum that the High Commissioner has adopted as part of comprehensive approaches in other regions. While each such plan must be different, given the uniqueness of each situation, the notion that asylum may be granted initially on a temporary basis, while efforts to achieve a solution are pursued, has been a common feature. In any such comprehensive approach, the coordination and leadership of UNHCR with respect to the refugee aspects, and the cooperation and support of countries of origin, countries of asylum and of the international community as a whole, are essential.



[1] Note on International Protection, Forty-fifth session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, A/AC.96/830, 7 September 1994, pp. 22-25.

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