Study visit to Banja Koviljaca - part of the project “Enhancement of Migration Response Capacities in Serbia”

In the period 19-20 May 2016, within the project “Enhancement of Migration Response Capacities in Serbia,“ representatives of the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration and local Migration Councils from target local self-governments visited the Center for accommodation of asylum seekers in Banja Koviljaca.

The Center for accomodation of asylum seekers is the first center of the kind in the Republic of Serbia, established on 6 December 2008 and operational ever since. The participants were introduced to the necessity of organising the accommodation of asylum seekers with the respect of principle of non-discrimination, family unity, gender equality and care for persons with special needs.

Getting to know the elements of the system of asylum, as well as the integration of persons with international protection also present there, was crucial to all Migration Coucils' members in order to prepare and enhance its capacities for provision of adequate response in the future migration developments.

The visit was accompanied by the comprehensive lecture given by the Center's manager, Mr. Robert Lesmajster focused on the essential aspects of establishing and managing the asylum center including the procedures, required evidences, registers, reports and dynamics of the mandatory activities aimed at provision of accommodation, etc.

The second working day was organised in the form of the workshop covering the following topics:

• Strengthening capacities for provision of assistance in resolving the refugee crisis including practical exercises in relation to the application of legal procedure and development of implementation plans as a part of the future Local Action Plans; 
•  Experience from the field in providing access to health care for migrants; 
•  Improved reception conditions with special attention deployed to mothers with children.

The floor was also given to the representative of Red Cross Sid to share all the affirmative experiences, as well as to overcome the challenges in provision of urgent response on the Serbian-Croatia border.

Considering the implementation of the “Enhancement of Migration Response Capacities” project, future activities were announced and dynamic was agreed with Migration Councils’ representatives.

As an addition to the program of the visit, the participants had an opportunity to enjoy the wild nature of the Drina River and spend some time in the relaxing environment of Western Serbia.