UNHCR Serbia Update, 23 July - 5 August 2018

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 05 Aug 2018 View Original
  • 3,610 new refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants were counted in Serbia on 05 August (compared to 3,529 two weeks ago), of which 3,071 (i.e 85%) were accommodated in 18 governmental centres. Over 530 were observed outside the centres: 250 in Belgrade City, another 240 camping close to borders with Croatia or Hungary but only 45 in Loznica, close to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • On 01 August, the bodies of two young foreign men were found dead in a village near Ruma, northwest of Belgrade. According to the Ministry of Interior, they bore gunshot wounds, but no further details were available as the investigation is ongoing. According to other, unofficial sources, the victims were young Afghan men, one registered as resident of TC Obrenovac, and the perpetrator(s) also Afghan national(s), involved in smuggling, who remain at large. On 2 August, authorities gathered 83 refugees/migrants sleeping rough near Šid, Ruma, or Sremska Mitrovica, questioned and relocated them to government centres.
  • On 03 August, UNHCR Geneva issued a Press Release urging an increase of search and rescue capacities, as the number of refugees/migrants perishing on the Mediterranean since the beginning of this year by now already grew above 1,500.
  • UNHCR and partners assisted a continuing high number of 728 newly arriving refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants (compared to 747 two weeks ago). 65% irregularly entered Serbia from fYR Macedonia (down from 75% two weeks ago), 15% from Bulgaria (up from 11%), while 15% arrived by air (up from 10%). Adult men constituted 69% (down from 80%), only 6% were adult women and 25% children (20% boys and 5 % girls) up from 15% two weeks ago, and including 117 identified unaccompanied and separated children (UASC). Most new arrivals were from Afghanistan (32%, up from 29%), Pakistan (23%, down from 39%), followed by Bangladesh -16%, and Iran (14%, up from 10%). Iraqi arrivals increased slightly to 7% from 5%.
  • UNHCR and partners gathered and forwarded 335 collective expulsions reports (up from 266 the preceding two weeks). 197 were reported from Croatia (up from 124), followed by 63 from Hungary (up from 26), 54 from Romania (up from 28) and 21 from Bosnia and Herzegovina (down from 88). Most of those expelled were Afghan (35%) and Pakistani (32%) nationals, followed by Iraqi (14%). 56% alleged denial of access to asylum procedures18% physical abuse and 17% other maltreatment by authorities of these neighboring countries.
  • In July 2018, 1,021 foreigners registered intentions to seek asylum in Serbia, the highest number since the beginning of the year, bringing the total for the year to 4,715 (compared to 3,548 in same period last year). Of those registered in July, 68% were adult men, 6% adult women and 26% children. Most applications were filed by citizens of Pakistan (32%) and Afghanistan (28%), followed by Iran (19%), Iraq (6%), Syria (3%), etc. Seven asylum applications received positive decision in July (two refugee status and five subsidiary protection), increasing the number of positive decisions by the Asylum Office so far in 2018 to 23.