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The right to education of asylum-seeking minors. Case study: Serbia.

  • At the time of the outbreak of the so-called refugee crisis, only the non-governmental sector in Serbia responded to the situation by providing assistance to any people in need. The respective activities that were carried out consisted mostly of humanitarian aid, medical assistance, and providing both psycho-social and legal-informative support. Starting in 2015, the attention grew and shifted to providing better care of asylum-seeking minors. However, it was only in late 2016 that the Republic of Serbia started a project related to inclusion of Asylum-Seeking Minors (ASMs)into its education system. The project’s results in 2017 were still modest, since only approx. 60 asylum seeking minors out of 3031 were included in Serbia’s education system. In the school year 2018/2019, in particular until February 2019, 98,22 percent of preschool-aged or elementary school-aged ASMs who were placed in reception centers were included in the education system. This PhD research project represents the study of how the basic human right, the right to education,is granted in a country perceived as a transit country by both, ASMs and domestic authorities. It represents a human rights-based approach to education and integration, which should contribute to empowerment of the right-holder, i.e. asylum-seeking minors, and accountability of the duty-bearer. In order to assess the government’s success in granting the right to education, it’s obligation to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, was linked with the human rights framework for education. Furthermore, the way the country’s political determination to join the EU, existing social, cultural, and political factors in the country as well as the insufficient asylum system affect the right to education of ASMs were examined. Apart from the empowerment of the right-holder and identification of the potential improvements on the governments side, one of the aims of the research was to identify examples/elements of good practice in Serbian aspect. This is used as an argument for (un)successful implementation of the right to education, since schools are the ones directly implementing adopted legislation, strategies and policies, and therefore reveal potential lack of political willingness to implement them or the false intentions of the state on the way it presents itself before the international community. Therefore, elements of good practice were identified and one of the central findings with respect to providing the right to education for ASMs, is that Serbia, and, more specifically, its dedicated educators and NGO staff, have done an applaudable job. Though room for improvement remains, the efforts of the state, school personnel, family members of ASMs and caring NGO workers have made the right to education a reality for ASMs who seek it.

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Author:Tijana Tesanovic
Referee:Uwe Prof. Dr. Bittlingmayer
Advisor:Albert Prof. Dr. Scherr
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Year of Completion:2020
Publishing Institution:Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg
Granting Institution:Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg, Fakultät I
Date of final exam:2020/03/03
Release Date:2020/07/02
Tag:asylum; children's rights; human rights; minors; right to education
GND Keyword:Menschenrecht; Kinderrechte; Asyl; Recht auf Bildung
Page Number:224
Institutes:Fakultät für Bildungswissenschaften
DDC class:300 Sozialwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International