By Nora Peter, IFRC
Three European Red Cross societies have launched a joint initiative that focuses on the social integration of refugees and asylum-seekers. The two-year project “Action of Red Cross on Integration of Relocated and Resettled Persons” runs under the acronym ARCI and is implemented by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in partnership with the German, Bulgarian and Croatian Red Cross.
U.S. foreign policy experts assess the likelihood and impact of thirty potential crises or conflicts around the world in the coming year in CFR’s annual survey.
- 4,468 refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants were present in Serbia on 30 December – an increase from 4,346 two weeks ago. Of them, 4,205 (i.e. 94%) were accommodated in 16 governmental Reception/Transit (RTC) or Asylum Centres (AC). Additionally, over 260 mainly male refugees/migrants were observed outside centres: 100 in Belgrade City, some 150 camping close to borders with Croatia or Hungary and a handful in/near Loznica at the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
According to available data from national authorities and IOM offices, a total of 133,489 migrants and refugees arrived in Europe between January and November 2018, 25 per cent decrease compared to the 178,232 reported in the same period 2017. 30,951 migrants and refugees were registered on entry and exit in Bosnia and Herzegovina (23,271), Albania (3,280) and Montenegro (4,400) in 2018, fourteen times more than the 2,199 registered in the same period last year.
According to the available data from national authorities and IOM offices, a total of 122,947 migrants and refugees arrived in Europe between January and October 2018. Estimated 81 per cent of migrants and refugees arrived by sea (99,174). A total of 27,972 migrants and refugees were registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania since the beginning of 2018, thirteen times more than the 2,199 reported in the same period last year and a ten times increase compared to the 2,725 registered in the whole of 2017.
In the first 11 months of 2018, the number of irregular border crossings into the EU fell by 30% from a year ago to about 138 000, mainly because of lower migratory pressure in the Central Mediterranean. A month before the end of the year, 2018 remains on track to see the lowest number of illegal border crossings since 2014.
In November, about 8 800 irregular border crossings were detected on the main migratory routes into the EU, 44% lower than in the same month of last year.
Brussels, 20 December 2018
This week, the European Commission has made available an additional €305 million in emergency assistance to support migration and border management in Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Croatia.
The funding will support efforts to increase reception capacity, protect victims of human trafficking and strengthen border surveillance and management capacity.
Despite a significant drop in refugee and migrant arrivals, children still face excessive police violence at the EU's borders, and find it increasingly hard to access asylum or reunite with their parents.
Refugee and migrant arrivals in Europe have tested the ability of countries to manage migration flows while ensuring the full respect of fundamental rights and international obligations. While challenges with rescue operations during dangerous sea arrivals are well known, the attitude and behaviour of border guards at the land borders is not as well documented.
Over 22,370 migrants 1 have passed through Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) since the beginning of 2018, compared to 1,166 in 2017. An estimated 5,000– 6,000 people are currently in the country, some 3,500–4,000 of whom need assistance. Most are in Una-Sana Canton in the northwest, where they attempt to cross the Croatian border into the EU. Migrants are living in sub-standard conditions ahead of freezing winter temperatures. Shelter and NFIs are the most urgent needs.
Stockpiles of excess, poorly-secured, or otherwise at-risk conventional weapons continue to pose a challenge to peace and prosperity worldwide. In the wrong hands, SA/LW fuel political instability and violence, while more advanced conventional weapons, such as MANPADS, pose a serious threat to international security. Aging munitions stockpiles may also explode without warning, devastating nearby population centers. Meanwhile, landmines and ERW, including cluster munition remnants, artillery shells, and mortars, continue to kill and maim people even after conflicts end.
Violence, Abuse; Denied Opportunity to Apply for Asylum
(Budapest) – Croatian police are pushing migrants and asylum seekers back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in some cases violently, and without giving them the possibility to seek asylum, Human Rights Watch said.
Budapest/Geneva, 10 December 2018 – Thousands of people trapped in Bosnia and Herzegovina desperately need humanitarian assistance ahead of freezing winter temperatures, says the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Total contributions for the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) now close to EUR 130 million; 36 projects approved under the Initiative representing EUR 3.7 billion of financing;
Over 160,000 jobs to be sustained in smaller businesses and midcaps enabled by lending via partner banks;
EIB contributed to ERI with technical assistance and advisory services worth EUR 90 million
Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 107,583 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 28 November. This is the fifth straight year during which the arrival of irregular migrants and refugees has topped the 100,000 threshold – although 2018’s total is low compared to those recorded at this time in 2017 (164,908) and 2016 (351,076).
UNHCR has long upheld age, gender and diversity (AGD) mainstreaming as an essential approach to understand and respond to the needs of all persons of concern. UNHCR makes considerable efforts in Europe to integrate AGD considerations both in operational planning, programme implementation and while engaging with governments in protection, advocacy and legal interventions. This report highlights a range of initiatives across the region in 2017 and 2018 to illustrate this.
- On 14 November, a young man from Syria died in the hospital in Belgrade despite receiving all possible treatment, as reportedly he had not been able to properly treat an injury sustained on the way to Serbia, resulting in major complications. This is yet another example illustrating the dangers of the current situation of mixed movements of people.
Another tragic accident illustrated the dangers of the current situation of mixed movements of people: On 11 November the police near Loznica found a body of a man suspected to have drowned in the Drina River. While the investigation is ongoing, local media reported that some ten days ago, when a group of refugees/migrants tried to cross the river into Bosnia, two young men from Iran disappeared. It is suspected that the body now found may belong to one of them.