Yugoslavia: Refugee protection afforded to Yugoslav citizens from Bosnia-Herzegovina by the Yugoslav government during the war (1992-1995); conditions to meet to obtain it; when status is lost; whether a refugee from Bosnia-Herzegovina who went back to his/her country of origin in 1996 lost his/her status by doing so
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||5 October 2004|
|Citation / Document Symbol||YUG42882.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Yugoslavia: Refugee protection afforded to Yugoslav citizens from Bosnia-Herzegovina by the Yugoslav government during the war (1992-1995); conditions to meet to obtain it; when status is lost; whether a refugee from Bosnia-Herzegovina who went back to his/her country of origin in 1996 lost his/her status by doing so, 5 October 2004, YUG42882.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/42df61c920.html [accessed 25 July 2014]|
An assistant resettlement officer of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provided the following information during a 5 October 2004 telephone interview with the Research Directorate:
After 1992, refugees that fled to Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) from Bosnia-Herzegovina were generally received by Yugoslav authorities prima facie. Almost all those that fled the war obtained recognized refugee status, which included the receipt of refugee cards as well as the provision of accommodations (either public, private, or with a host family).
The only major condition for a person to meet in order to be recognized as a refugee by Yugoslavia was that they had fled the war. While some were refused refugee status and others might have had their status revoked, the vast majority of those fleeing Bosnia-Herzegovina would have been given refugee protection.
Concerning loss of refugee protection upon return to Bosnia-Herzegovina, the assistant resettlement officer stated that in 1996 this would not have occurred unless refugees themselves wished to renounce their status or if there was sufficient evidence of the actual return to Bosnia-Herzegovina or if there was restitution of property. However, a refugee returning to Bosnia much later, for instance in 2003 or 2004, would automatically have his/her refugee status revoked.
The officer concluded by adding that during the war between 1992 and 1995 there were diverse problems and the situation was never clear-cut, so there was a vast array of unique circumstances in which various refugees found themselves.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Belgrade. 5 October 2004. Telephone interview with an assistant resettlement officer.
Additional Sources Consulted
Unsuccessul attempts to contact the following sources:
– The Bosnian Institute, London, United Kingdom
– Center for Antiwar Action: Council for Human Rights (CAA), Belgrade
– Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Belgrade
– Institute for Balkan Studies, Belgrade
– International Crisis Group (ICG), Sarajevo
– Lawyers Committeee for Human Rights (YUCOM), Belgrade
– Professor of Economics specializing in Balkan Studies, University of Ottawa
– Professor of European Studies specializing in Balkan Studies, University of Toronto
– Professor of Political Sciences specializing in Balkan Studies, Howard University, Washington DC
– Professor of Social Science specializing in Balkan Studies, York University, Toronto
– Professor specializing in Balkan studies, University of Durham, United Kingdom
– Repatriation Information Centre, Sarajevo
– Yugoslav Lawyers for Human Rights, Belgrade.