Serbia Issues - 2023


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Disputes - international

Serbia-Bosnia and Herzegovina: Serbia delimited about half of the boundary with Bosnia and Herzegovina, but sections along the Drina River remain in dispute

Serbia-Bulgaria: none identified

Serbia-Croatia: Serbia and Croatia dispute their border along the Danube; Serbia claims the border is the median between the current Danube shorelines, with the land to the eastern side of the median belonging to Serbia; Croatia contends that the boundary is demarcated according to historic maps, despite the river having meandered since then

Serbia-Hungary: none identified

Serbia-Kosovo: Serbia with several other states protested the US and other states' recognition of Kosovo's declaration of its status as a sovereign and independent state in February 2008; ethnic Serbian municipalities along Kosovo's northern border challenge final status of Kosovo-Serbia boundary; since 1999, NATO-led Kosovo Force peacekeepers under UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) authority have continued to keep the peace within Kosovo between the ethnic Albanian majority and the Serb minority; in October 2021, NATO-led KFOR increased patrols along the border with Serbia to deescalate hostilities caused by a dispute over license plates

Serbia-Montenegro: the former republic boundary serves as the boundary until a line is formally delimited and demarcated

Serbia-North Macedonia: none identified

Serbia-Romania: none identified

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 17,334 (Croatia), 7,997 (Bosnia and Herzegovina) (mid-year 2022)

IDPs: 196,995 (most are Kosovar Serbs, some are Roma, Ashkalis, and Egyptian (RAE); some RAE IDPs are unregistered) (2021)

stateless persons: 2,594 (includes stateless persons in Kosovo) (2022)

note: 977,342 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015-July 2023)

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Serbia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; Serbia investigated more suspects, revised indicators to identify victims among schoolchildren, and increased resources for the Center for Protection of Trafficking Victims; officials developed a coordination body to support victims during criminal proceedings, formed four Special Working Groups for anti-trafficking issues, and designated an Ombudsman on trafficking; however, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts compared with the previous year to expand its anti-trafficking capacity; there were no proactive efforts to identify victims, and implementation of standard operating procedures remained inadequate; an anti-trafficking council did not meet, and the government did not adopt the 2021-2022 National Action Plan; official complicity in trafficking crimes remained a concern; therefore, Serbia was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2022)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Serbia, as well as Serbians abroad; Serbian women are exploited in sex trafficking in Serbia, neighboring countries, and throughout Europe, particularly in Austria, Germany, Italy, and Turkey; Serbian nationals, primarily men, are exploited in forced labor in labor-intensive sectors in European countries—including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Russia, and Switzerland—and the United Arab Emirates; children, particularly Roma, are victims within the country in sex trafficking, forced labor, forced begging, and petty crime; foreign victims in Serbia are from Albania, Cameroon, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Mali, Nigeria, North Macedonia, and Pakistan; thousands of migrants and refugees from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia transiting through or stranded in Serbia are vulnerable to trafficking; the government has not reported fully investigating credible allegations of Vietnamese victims of forced labor and instead states the workers are not trafficking victims (2022)

Illicit drugs

drug trafficking groups are major players in the procurement and transportation of of large quantities of cocaine destined for European markets

NOTE: The information regarding Serbia on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Serbia 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Serbia 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.