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14 May 2018 description

On Thursday 17 May, EU Heads of State are meeting their counterparts from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo) to discuss cooperation in several areas, including migration and security. Following increased arrivals of refugees and migrants to both the Western Balkans and the EU, the issue of border control has gained prominence, resulting in more investments and cooperation agreements between the EU and Western Balkan countries.

03 Apr 2017 description
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Executive Summary


An estimated 1,300 unaccompanied child refugees and migrants are at an increased risk of exploitation, violence and trafficking due to the restrictive border policies and inadequate social protection systems across the Balkans, 12 national and international nongovernmental organisations including the International Rescue Committee and Save the Children warn in a report released today.

14 Oct 2016 description
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Greek version

This briefing paper is the result of a joint effort by 12 national and international organizations operating in Greece. The aim is to explain the current situation for those stranded in Greece for over six months since the closure of the northern border and introduction of the European Union (EU) – Turkey deal.

17 Mar 2016 description

Dear European Leaders:

As organisations working directly with refugees and migrants in Europe, we ask European Union Member States present at the European Council meeting of 17th and 18th March 2016 to take the opportunity to come together in solidarity and conclude bold, unified and decisive policies to address the humanitarian crisis.

17 Mar 2016 description

A decision to shift the EU’s responsibility for refugees to Turkey would see the bloc bargaining its core values and abandoning fundamental legal obligations, warns Oxfam today. Such a decision, which leaders may make this week, would set a dangerous precedent that human rights don't matter anymore. Already European border closures and restrictions are dramatically worsening the humanitarian crisis for refugees and migrants living in desperate conditions from Greece to Macedonia and from Serbia to Sicily.

03 Mar 2016 description

As thousands of people arrive in Europe seeking safety, authorities in Austria and the Western Balkans have started selectively closing their borders. These measures are clearly infringing international and European law that protect the right to seek asylum.

25 Jun 2001 description

Washington, D.C., 25 Jun 2001 - Eleven prominent U.S. humanitarian organizations, including the International Rescue Committee, sent a letter to President Bush, urging the U.S. government to take the lead in stemming the recent violence in the southern Balkans to prevent further human suffering and displacement.

07 May 1999 description

Kosovo Refugee Family Reunions in U.S. Set for Tomorrow -- A total of 102 Kosovar Albanian refugees are scheduled to arrive tomorrow evening (Saturday, May 8) at New York's Kennedy International Airport.

16 Apr 1999 description

SKOPJE, MACEDONIA -- The International Rescue Committee has assumed management of a refugee camp that will provide shelter for approximately 5,000 refugees in Neprosteno, outside Skopje.

05 Apr 1999 description

9 a.m. EDT - The IRC Macedonia team has been working virtually around the clock frantically rushing aid and supplies to refugees stuck in the international buffer zone between Macedonia and Kosovo.

30 Mar 1999 description

March 30, 1999 - IRC teams in Skopje, Macedonia, and Tirana, Albania are working to cope with the massive flow of refugees pouring out of Kosovo in the last few days and heading primarily into Albania. By nightfall on Tuesday, March 30, at least 95,000 Kosovars had fled, with the largest number, about 65,000, crossing the heavily mined and guarded border into the forbidding mountainous region of northern Albania.