Serbia: Integration stalled

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NOTE: In 2008 Kosovo adopted a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) from Serbia. The United Nations General Assembly subsequently referred the UDI to the International Court of Justice, which issued a July 2010 advisory opinion affirming that it was “in accordance with international law.” As of November 2010, 72 countries had recognised Kosovo. Serbia has not recognised Kosovo, continuing to regard it as a United Nations-governed entity within its sovereign territory. For the purpose of this overview, references to the situation in “Serbia” since 2008 do not include Kosovo.

In 1999, over 245,000 members of local minority communities fled from or within Kosovo in fear of reprisals from the majority Albanian population after NATO air strikes had forced the withdrawal of Yugoslav troops and ended years of oppression of ethnic Albanians.

As of December 2012, there were an estimated 225,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) from Kosovo within Serbia, including an estimated 15,000 displaced Roma who have never been registered as displaced. In addition, around 17,000 remain displaced within Kosovo.

One in five IDPs are from minority communities. Roma are the most vulnerable IDPs. They tend to lack documentation which then limits their access to basic services such as education, health and social security. They frequently endure extreme poverty in squalid informal settlements and have been subject to evictions. (...)