Solidarity against closed-doors policy

On May 17, 2017, a panel on "Irregular migration and pushbacks on the Balkan route", on the Mediterranean Forum, was held as part of the 10th Subversive Festival.

The unlawful and violent deportation of migrants and refugees across borders is a serious problem, and it’s not the only one the refugees and the organizations face in the countries of Southeastern and Central Europe. The closed doors for the refugees are part of the European policy that the countries on the verge of the European Union and the candidate ones follow. The associations from Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia suggested that this should be confronted with solidarity.

The cooperation and solidarity of these NGOs in dealing with the refugees is the best response to the good cooperation of the national policies and in preventing the refugees to arrive in one of the EU countries, suggested from the round table for unlawful and violent deportation of the refugees across the borders of those countries.

Some of the Ombudsman greatly assisted and supported the NGOs in protecting the human rights of the refugees, and this practice should be mutual and aligned. 

“I think it’s important to mold joint appeals of the Ombudsman and the NGOs. It seems that, the unlawful deportation of refugees from Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, etc., will not end soon. Apparently, it is about European policies that the countries member of EU or the aspirated ones follow.” – stated Emina Bizhinkikj of Zagreb’s Centre for Peace Studies.

Jasmin Redzepi, from NGO Legis, noted that there’s always an alternative way as how to humanly treat the undocumented migrants. “These are not ghosts! These are real people with real needs and rights. And we as an NGO sector must be present on the ground, we must work together with the institutions – as thus so far– to protect these people. They have their own rights. After all, they’re humans, just like us. They are not “illegal”, but rather, currently their transit is “irregular”. And there’s always an alternative way as how to humanly treat them.

 “Currently in Serbia there are between 7 and 8 thousand refugees. What’s their perspective now, especially after the Serbian authorities demolished with excavator the facilities in which the irregular migrants had found shelter”, explains Ana Triunfovic from the Belgrade Center for Human Rights. 

“With the demolition of these barracks in Belgrade, in the following weeks, it is expected a greater flow of irregular migrants from Serbia to Croatia”, noted Buzhinkikj. According to her information, two weeks ago hundreds of refugees entered Croatia and requested for asylum.