Serbia + 8 more

UNHCR Serbia Update, 6 - 8 February 2017

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HIGHLIGHTS AND STATISTICS

  • The overall number of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants counted in Serbia stood around 7,700. Over 6,500 (85%) of them were sheltered in 17 heated government facilities. According to available data, most were children (47%) and women (16%), with 37% adult men. 82% fled three so called “refugee producing countries, namely Afghanistan (52%), Iraq (20%) and Syria (9%).

  • Authorities, supported by UNHCR, continued rapid refurbishment to further expand and improve the capacity of the new centre in Obrenovac near Belgrade, where an increasing number of refugee and migrant men and boys were accommodated. Accordingly, fewer refugee and migrant men and boys appear to be sleeping rough in Belgrade city centre. Authorities organised daily transport from the city centre to Obrenovac, while also accepting self-referrals, who show up in Obrenovac spontaneously. As a next step, communal buildings, protection and other services will need to be put in place/strengthened.

  • As of 06 February, authorities and humanitarian organizations opened informal education classes for some 160 school age refugee/migrant children (age 7 to 15) in Presevo Reception Centre (RC). The classes are divided by four age groups and teaching Serbian and other languages, mathematics, and art. These developments are seen also as a positive step to encouraging international financial support to ensure that all refugee and migrant children in Serbia can enjoy accessing their right to formal education.

  • Hungarian authorities admitted 34 asylum seekers to territory and asylum procedures at the Hungarian “transit zones” near Kelebija and Horgos border crossings.

  • During the last three days 80 asylum-seekers informed UNHCR and partners to have been denied access to asylum procedures in Hungary and 35 in Croatia but instead been collectively expelled back into Serbia, with some alleging maltreatment by the authorities of these EU member states.

  • In February, 102 intentions to seek asylum in Serbia were registered.