“…it is now clear that collective expulsions, ill treatment and the arbitrary deprivation of liberty have been occurring along the Serbian–Croatian border from 2016 to 2021 despite all the efforts of CSOs. Therefore, besides effective reporting, testimony collection and advocacy, efforts and capacities around strategic litigation should be increased. Thus, these guidelines contribute to goals such as: 1. Providing guidelines for CSOs on where, how and when to document and legally challenge unlawful border practices along the Serbian–Croatian border 2. Increasing the credibility and reliability of reports published on individual incidents by applying a multidisciplinary approach 3. Informing the reader of possible legal avenues open at the national and international level for fighting harmful border practices. These legal avenues could be investigated jointly by Serbian and Croatian CSOs, alongside independent lawyers, and they could potentially lead to strategic litigation.”
Nikola Kovačević is a human rights lawyer from Serbia. He won the 2021 Nansen Refugee Award for Europe for his contribution to the development of the Serbian asylum system (representing almost 30% of persons granted asylum in Serbia) and his work on documenting and legally challenging illegal border practices. Nikola has been a writer for AIDA since 2015 and involved in ELENA as a coordinator for Serbia since 2016. ELENA and AIDA both operate under the auspices of ECRE.