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The impact of the borders closures on people on the move, with a focus on women and children in Serbia and Macedonia

This paper provides an analysis of the protection concerns that people on the move, especially women and children, face in Macedonia and Serbia following the closure of the Balkan route and presents recommendations on how to protect and promote their safety, dignity and human rights. This report was conducted by Oxfam and its partners: the Belgrade Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and Atina in Serbia, and the Macedonian Young Lawyer Association (MYLA) and Open Gate/ La Strada in Macedonia. It is based on background research, information gathered by Oxfam partners in the course of their field work, interviews with women and focus group discussions, and meetings with NGO and civil society representatives.


Evictions start in Belgrade: enforced mass transfers from Belgrade to Preševo

On November the 10th in the middle of the night, a big police operation took place behind the main bus station in Belgrade and the parking lot near the so-called “Afghan Park”. 109 people were put into buses and brought to the closed camp in Preševo near the Macedonian border. From here, people are being pushed back on a constant basis. Behind the bus station at the moment more than 700 refugees remain in empty warehouses and around 30 people are currently sleeping in the parking where night temperatures are at an average of 1 degree. During the whole operation, although the people were very scared, they stayed remarkably calm and peaceful. Police did not use actual physical force, but were sometimes deceitful towards the migrants by threatening them and lying over the buses’ destination in order to get them to move from the city.

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Serbia’s South: Reception centre in Bujanovac, update Preševo Camp

Until March this year, the camp in Preševo was the entry point for thousands of people from Macedonia into Serbia on their way North. Now, it turned into the opposite: the last stop in Serbia before people are pushed back south, to Macedonia. For several weeks now, the Serbian police has been bringing people on the move to the now closed reception centre in Preševo. These are people that have been staying in camps in the North before, for example in Subotica and Sid as well as in Belgrade. Many people have launched their asylm process in Serbia. Nonetheless, they are pushed-back by the Serbian authorities. It is reported that the Serbian authorities destroies their asylum papers in order to destroy all prove that these people have been in Serbia before. The push-backs are against the all international conventions and violate the asylum right of these people. The push-backs appear to happen in large numbers to make space in the reception centres, as Serbia has not enough spaces in reception centres for all the people currently stranded in Serbia. Except for few unaccompanied minors and families all people who are brought to Preševo camp are subsequently pushed-back to Macedonia. Those vulnerable families and minors have been transferred to a new camp in Bujanovac, 20km north from Preševo.

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Flüchtlinge sitzen an serbisch-kroatischer Grenze fest

Rund 100 Flüchtlinge sitzen nach einem 120 Kilometer langen Fußmarsch bei klirrender Kälte an der Grenze zwischen Serbien und dem EU-Land Kroatien fest. Die Flüchtlinge, vor allem junge Männer aus Pakistan und Afghanistan, hatten sich am Freitag in der serbischen Hauptstadt Belgrad auf den Weg zum Grenzübergang Sid gemacht. Serbische und kroatische Polizisten hinderten sie am Montag jedoch daran, über die Grenze in die Europäische Union zu gelangen.

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Report on the situation of migrants in Serbia in autumn 2016

This report describes the violence of the border regime erected and fortified as part of the gradual closure of the Balkan corridor since the end of 2015. A bit more than one year ago, the Hungarian government finished constructing the fences along the Serbo-Hungarian and Croatian-Hungarian border, and a bit more than 6 months ago the entrance to the Balkan corridor at the Greek-Macedonian border in Idomeni was closed completely. The logic and consequences of the closure of flight routes manifest themselves in the daily violence of the border regime and its zones of control and coercion.

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Afghan asylum seekers stranded at Hungary-Serbia border

More than 300 migrants in Belgrade marched toward Hungary’s border with Serbia on Tuesday, appealing for European nations to let them in. An estimated 6,000 people are stranded in Serbia due to the border closures, most of whom fled countries such as Afghanistan, Iran and Syria. Though Hungary currently admits around 30 people per day from Serbia, most refugees and migrants are essentially gridlocked, with nowhere to go.

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The Guardian: Refugees stuck in Serbia begin marching towards Hungarian border

Die Lage sei schlecht und werde schlechter, warnte das Flüchtlingshilfswerk der Vereinten Nationen schon Mitte vergangener Woche. In einem Bericht des Flüchtlingskommissariats zur Situation in Serbien hieß es, im äußersten Norden des Landes hätten sich binnen Tagen mehr als 1200 „Flüchtlinge/Migranten“ versammelt, die in Ungarn das Gebiet der EU (wieder) betreten wollen, das sie bei der (illegalen) Ausreise aus Griechenland verlassen hatten. Allein am 6. Juli, so der Bericht, habe man 120 Migranten betreut, die erzählten, aus Ungarn wieder in das Niemandsland zwischen ungarischer und serbischer Grenze abgeschoben worden zu sein. Belgrader Medien berichten in Anspielung auf frühere Zustände an der griechisch-mazedonischen Grenze, nahe des Dorfes Horgos drohe ein „serbisches Idomeni“ zu entstehen – ein wildes Flüchtlingslager für zehntausende „Niemandsleute im Niemandsland“, die ein Zaun an der Weiterreise hindere.

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