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Asylum crisis threatens again

All capacities in the centers for asylum seekers were filled at the end of January, 2014. Because of winter, refugees from Syria decide to stay longer in Serbia, and if we do not register them, they come in danger of becoming a victims of crime.

All capacities for the accommodation of asylum seekers in Serbia were filled by the end of last week, so our country has no more room for the reception of refugees from Syria, the Middle East and Africa, warned Rados Djurovic from the Asylum Protection Center (APC/CZA).

“The last of the predicted 500 places in the centers and shelters were filled on Friday, and in Obrenovac and Bogovadja already signed up 30 new people in very poor health, frozen, wrapped in scarves and with clothing that does not suit the weather conditions” said Djurovic, pointing out that there will again come to the “asylum crisis” if something is not done systematically. Because of low temperatures and very poor conditions for travel migrants are forced to register and stay longer in the country.

kamp u Bogovadji

A large number of people that arrive from day to day is the result of not only the geographical position of Serbia, but also of poor conditions in Bulgaria, from which comes the largest number of people since the control at the border between Greece and Turkey, with a wall built on the Evros River, gave results.

“Migrants now often choose Bulgaria, but the accommodation conditions in this country are very poor. Bulgaria, caught by the inflow of so many people, has not managed to cope with these. Everyday we hear disturbing stories of asylum seekers that they had no where to sleep, that there were no beds in the centers, that they did not have food, that they have been beaten by the Bulgarian police, that they did not encountered on the understanding of the officers of collective centers, that they have been constantly reminded to tell their countrymen to stay away from Bulgaria on their road to Europe”, said Djurovic.

Despite such poor acceptance, migrants still continue to go through this country on their way from Turkey to Serbia, and further to the EU, because it is the fastest and cheapest way to escape from war and famine. Their response to all the pressures they are faced is that they have no alternative. By Djurovic words, Serbia is “the last free territory before they enter the Dublin area and the Eurodaka system”. Because of that they do their best to reach out to the Schengen borders, furthermore:

“We can expect a strong growth in the number of people who will enter in our country and stay longer. Consequently, Serbia must find a way what to do with all these people. The asylum procedure must work, people have to be identified, to get the asylum documents, accommodation, and to be implemented a coordinated migration management. The most dangerous thing in this situation is if the country turn a blind eye to this problem and leave people in a gray area, without documents and accommodation. These people will not disappear by themself, and in seeking a way to survive people with no alternative and who are invisible to the state often become victims of violence, prostitution, labor exploitation, crime and various abuses”, said Djurovic.

During 2013, 5065 people requested asylum in our country, which is the largest number since the asylum system was created. The number is doubled in comparison to 2012, when the number was 2723, and it is 65 times higher than in 2008, when the asylum sistem was formed in Serbia.

600 unaccompanied minors

From 5056 asylum seekers of last year, 4 378 of them were male and 687 female. There were 768 minors, of which 687 boys and 81 girls, and 598 of them were unaccompanied minors who came to Serbia alone! Most of the migrants were from Syria, half less from Eritrea and Somalia, followed by Afghanistan, Algeria, Mali, Ivory Coast, Tunisia and Morocco.


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