The Helsinki Committee in Serbia raises the concern that Serbia, with its policies of passivation of addresses, is leading to what can be called an ‘ethnic cleansing of the Albanian community’.
In the published report “Albanian minority waiting – Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja hostage to Kosovo-Serbia relationsIt is emphasized that the passivity of residential addresses aims to reduce the number of ethnic Albanians living in the area.
“In order to reduce as much as possible the number of Albanians living in the south, the state is carrying out the so-called ‘passivation of residence addresses belonging to Albanians’ working abroad, whether in Western Europe or Kosovo. . The measure is essentially a form of ethnic cleansing through administrative means “, The report emphasizes.
The report states that: “Passivity ”(massive and selective residence) causes individuals to lose their status as citizens of Serbia and, accordingly, all civil rights – voting rights, property, health insurance, pension, employment, etc. . Since citizens are not informed about “passivity”, they usually lose their right to complain, the deadline for which is eight days.
The Helsinki Committee, recalling that Serbia is a country seeking to join the EU, urges that this process be stopped immediately in order to restore the civil rights of Albanians.
In 2011, Serbia adopted the Law on Citizens’ Residence, which gives authorities the right to inspect homes where people live physically. By law, police must verify that people are living at the address they stated. If they are not, then the individual is deregistered. Once a citizen is deregistered, they lose their right to renew documents, access health care, education or vote. About 70,000 ethnic Albanians live in this part of Serbia.