UNHCR Serbia Update, 17 - 30 September 2018
The number newly arriving refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants that were observed or assisted by UNHCR and partners in Serbia grew to 1,130 - compared to 961 during the preceding fortnight. 53% claimed to have entered Serbia irregularly from fYR Macedonia (down from 55% two weeks ago) and 20% from Bulgaria (down from 30%), and 21% to have arrived regularly by air (up from 13%). Most new arrivals originated from Afghanistan (26%), Pakistan (24%), or Iran (23%), followed by Iraq (6%), Bangladesh (3%), or Syria (2%). 69% were adult men, 23% children (incl. 162 Unaccompanied and Separated Children - UASC) and 8% adult women.
Also the presence of new refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants in Serbia continued growing with 3,905 counted on 30 September (up from 3,877 two weeks ago). 3,411 (i.e. 87%) were accommodated in 15 governmental Reception/Transit (RTC) or Asylum Centres, including around 200 single men in rub halls in Adasevci and Principovac RTCs. Despite cooler weather, close to 500 mainly male refugees/migrants were observed outside the centres: 200 in Belgrade City, another 200 camping close to borders with Croatia or Hungary and up to 90 in Loznica, close to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Enrolment of refugee/migrant children in public schools and kindergartens across the country progressed well. 95% of refugee/migrant children between 7-14 attended 34 public elementary schools, almost all six year olds state preschool institutions, 107 attended kindergartens, and 12% 13 secondary schools.
UNHCR and partners continued gathering high number of reports of collective expulsions: 506 from Croatia (down from 565 two weeks ago), followed by 188 from BiH (down from 247), 74 from Romania (up from 22) and 18 from Hungary (down from 28 – below chart refers for trends). More than 58% of these reports alleged denial of access to asylum procedures by authorities of these neighbouring countries.
On 14 September in Backa Palanka, twelve refugee families from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, representatives of local authorities, of the Serbian Commissioner for Refugees and Migration (SCRM), of UNHCR and the OSCE celebrated the signing of contracts for village houses under the seventh RHP Serbia sub-project.
Continuing implementation of its comprehensive Action Plan for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA), on 19 September, UNHCR organised focus group discussions with residents of Obrenovac RTC. Distribution of PSEA posters and leaflets to partners started on 20 September.