Serbia: Inter-Agency Operational Update (July-August 2017)

Highlights

  • The number of new refugees, asylumseekers and migrants present in Serbia continued dropping to 4,245 counted on 31 August. 3,903 (i.e. 93%) of them were accommodated in 18 governmental centres across the country, while smaller groups were observed in border areas or Belgrade.

  • On 10 August, authorities accommodated 28 men and boys, previously sleeping rough in the woods near the northern border, in Preševo Reception Centre.

  • At end-August, some 82% of residents in governmental centres were from socalled refugee-producing countries: Afghanistan (66%), Iraq (11%) and Syria (5%). Another 9% were from Pakistan and 10% from other countries. 43% were children, 14% adult women and 43% adult men.

  • On 6 August, a man from Algeria lost his life in the vicinity of Šid town, where he was hit by an approaching train that he reportedly did not see on time. On 14 August, a young Algerian man reportedly committed suicide by throwing himself under the wheels of a moving locomotive on the Šid-Tovarnik railway near the border with Croatia.

  • An increasing number of reports of violent incidents affecting refugees/migrants caused concern. They included a refugee/migrant group being freed from incarceration by smugglers near Belgrade, one migrant/refuge man being robbed by an armed smuggler and a conflict amongst migrants near the border with Croatia again involving the use of a handgun, possibly by the same smuggler.

  • On 16 August, media reported on an offer of citizenship by President Aleksandar Vučić to the family of Afghan boy Farhad Nouri, nicknamed “Little Picasso”, should they decide to remain in Serbia. The family had been residing in Krnjača Asylum Centre (AC) for over eight months, without yet launching a formal request for asylum.

KEY FIGURES (JULY-AUGUST 2017)

579 Registered intentions to seek asylum in Serbia

48% of registered refugees and migrants were minors

13 Applications for asylum

2 Persons granted refugee status

0 Persons granted subsidiary protection

PRIORITIES

  • Ensure that urgent humanitarian and protection needs of refugees and migrants are being met

  • Assist the Government to strengthen the asylum and migration management system in line with applicable international standards