Serbia + 6 more

UNHCR Serbia Update, 30 January - 1 February 2017

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HIGHLIGHTS AND STATISTICS

  • The overall number of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants in Serbia continued rising to some 7,900. 6,501 (82%) of them were sheltered in 17 heated government facilities. The others were staying rough in Belgrade city centre or in the North near the Hungarian border.

  • Efforts to resolve the situation of refugee/migrant men and boys squatting in Belgrade city centre continued. While UNHCR and partners supported authorities in a rapid refurbishment to expand the capacity of the new centre in Obrenovac, no further transfers took place there. UNHCR and partners, however, managed to transport 20 more newly registered asylum seekers from Belgrade to other government centres.

  • Hungarian authorities admitted 32 asylum seekers to territory and asylum procedures at the Hungarian “transit zones” near Kelebija and Horgos border crossings. Many refugees and migrants across Serbia grow increasingly restless about decreasing admission numbers and rising waiting periods, indicating that more may try to cross borders irregularly instead.

  • Another horrible accident, illustrating the risks of irregular border crossing, took place this morning at the Sid train station, when several refugee and migrant men were trying to hide on a cargo train transporting gas to Croatia. Reportedly, an accidental electric shock caused an explosion, afflicting at least four refugee/migrant men with life-threatening injuries. At the time of writing this report they are still in emergency re-animation.

  • During the last three days over 60 asylum-seekers informed UNHCR and partners to have been denied access to asylum procedures in Hungary and collectively expelled back into Serbia.

  • During January, the police registered a total of 590 new intentions to seek asylum in Serbia.