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Refugee Law

29.03.2017 ITALY 

New Law Addressing Unaccompanied Minors in Italy
After a long negotiation period, a new law addressing unaccompanied minors (UAMs) went into effect in Italy on March 29th.  The main goal of the new law is to increase UAMs’ protections and defend their rights.  The first reform regards the reception system.  Specifically: minors’ refoulement is always forbidden; expulsion is possible (as foreseen by current laws) but only if it does not cause “a risk of serious damage for minors”. In addition, a new provision concerning the decision must be made within 30 days; the time a minor can be detained in reception facilities (related to first-aid provisions) decreases from 60 to 30 days; specific reception facilities are indicated to them to better meet their needs; only one procedure can be provided to identify minors and it must be fulfilled within 10 days (no time limit was given until now). This procedure is aimed to verify the minors’ age in order to implement policies addressed to them. more>>>
7.03.2017, Hungary

UNHCR concerns by plans to change the law in Hungary

On 7th of March a new law which has been voted at the Hungarian Parliament. UNHCR is deeply concerned at a new law which foresees the mandatory detention of all asylum seekers, including many children, for the entire length of the asylum procedure. In practice, it means that every asylum-seeker, including children, will be detained in centers at the border for extended periods of time.

31.01.2017, Poland

Changes in the Law on Granting Protection to Foreigners in Poland

The new Amendments to the Law on Protection proposed on the 31st of January will change dramatically the process of applying for asylum in Poland. The most important changes are the introduction of simplified “border procedures” in which the asylum application will be submitted at the border and investigated within 28 days during which asylum seekers will be waiting in detention centers situated at the borderline.  There is, however, a list of people to whom “border procedures” will not be applied: victims of torture (if recognized by the border guards), foreigners with critical heath situations which prevents them from staying in the detention center, disabled migrants and unaccompanied minors. The Amendment is clear in this regard, but little is known about the procedure in practice. The second major change is the creation of a list of “safe countries of origin” and “safe third-countries” meaning that applications of asylum seekers originating from or traversing this country may be automatically examined within the “border procedure”. The list of “safe countries” will be introduced by the Prime Minister and renewed every two years. However, the proposition of the list of the countries that are to be declared “safe” is still unknown.

26.01.2017, Slovenia 

​Worrying Changes in the Act on Foreigners in Slovenia
On 26th of January 2017 the Slovenian National Assemly adopted the new Act on Foreigners. Especially problematic are the two articles - Article 10a (changed circumstances in the field of migration) and Article 10b (measures in case of changed circumstances in the field of migration) - which will give the National Assembly in the case of "changed circumstances" a power to close borders for refugees and prohibit them to apply for asylum.
The main concerns raised by the changes of Act on Foreigners are described here: http://www.mirovni-institut.si/en/ten-reasons-why-the-draft-amendments-to-the-aliens-act-violate-slovenian-constitution-and-international-law/
New Act on Foreigners: http://www.pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO5761