Weekly report for 11 – 17 Dec 2017

Weekly report for 11 – 17 Dec 2017

Monitoring Access to Human Rights and Protection of Refugees and Migrants in Transit Border Centers Tabanovce (Northern border) and Gevgelija (Southern border)

Legis is an implementing partner-organization of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia, Vlade and Ana Divac Foundation, Novi Sad Humanitarian Centre - NSHC and Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Deutschland in the project: Help on the Route – Fostering Protection of Human Rights of Refugees and Migrants Passing through Macedonia and Serbia. In this regard, Legis has six field officers and two coordinators who collect daily information on the access to human rights and protection of residents in the transit border centers Tabanovce on the Northern and Gevgelija on the Southern border.

Accordingly, this weekly report represents a summary of:

- Number of reports: 12 daily reports in total i.e. questionnaires gathered during this period.


The total number of supported refugees/migrants: around 24 refugees/migrants were supported during this period, since the new arrivals fluctuate on a daily basis, our field officers managed to establish communication with almost each newly arrived person in the camp Tabanovce, while the southern border camp Vinojug, Gevgelija remains closed with 4 residents. During this reporting period in Tabanovce, the number of registered residents varied from 17-10. Moreover, there were 20 new arrivals: a five-member family from Syria, one man from Iran and eight from Pakistan, five from Afghanistan and one from Iraq. In Gevgelija, there were no new arrivals reported.

Tabanovce, Northern border

Facilities and conditions:

The transit-center in Tabanovce, Kumanovo has temporary living facilities (containers) for residents with satisfactory heating and cooling conditions. All residents have access to hygiene facilities, communal kitchen, and recreational spaces for children etc. They receive three meals per day. Toilets are cleaned on a daily basis. The freedom of movement continues to be restricted meaning residents can go out but only if accompanied by the camp staff. There is heating available and hot water at the bathrooms.

Institutional treatment:

No pushbacks or other institution-related irregularities were reported during this period.
 

Access to asylum or temporary protection:

All residents have access to asylum or temporary protection submissions through the Department of Asylum of the Ministry of Interior and the local CSO Macedonian Young Lawyers Association within the center or other legal aid in need. A Pakistani resident is considering seeking asylum and is in talks with MYLA in order to learn more about the procedure, how long it will take, etc.

Access to services: health care, medical needs, food and non-food items:

All residents have access to basic health care, medical aid and food and non-food items. The medical staff is always present at the camp. No special needs were reported.

Restriction of movement:

- Residents can only go out if accompanied by the camp staff or Red Cross employees.

Gevgelija, Southern border:

Facilities and conditions:

As the transit-center in Tabanovce, Gevgelija has temporary living facilities (containers) for residents with satisfactory heating and cooling conditions. The daily routine of the people depends on the programs within the center’s facilities, as the restriction of movement has not been removed. Residents receive pre-cooked meals (lunch only) three days per week. The rest of the days, they cook themselves. However, according to the residents’ accounts there has been lack of food lately. Bathrooms are cleaned regularly. Yet, it is important to highlight that there is no hot water and no heating at the bathrooms. The residents have to to use La Strada’s bathroom instead.

Institutional treatment:

The Macedonian police forces operating at the Macedonian-Greek border pushed back around 25[1] persons to Greece during this reporting period. The predominant countries of origin of the people who were pushed back are Algeria, Afghanistan, whereas the nationality of three individuals remains unknown.

Access to asylum or temporary protection:

All residents have access to asylum or temporary protection submissions through the Department of asylum of the Ministry of Interior and local CSO Macedonian Young Lawyers Association within the center or other legal aid in need. Three families residing at the Vinojug transit centre had decided to seek asylum, so they were transported to the Asylum Seekers Centre of Vizbegovo, Skopje.

Access to services: health care, medical needs, food and non-food items:

All residents have access to basic health care, medical aid and food and non-food items. No special medical needs were reported. However, it is important to emphasize that residents need more psychosocial support due to the prolonged stay at the transit centre.

Restriction of movement:

- Residents can only go out if accompanied by the camp staff, Red Cross, or La Strada employees.

- Number of referred cases to the Ombudsman’s Office during this period:

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Veryioni në Gjuhë Shqipe

Верзија на Македонски јазик

 

[1] This number is approximate. There may be more, but this is what our field officers have managed to register and learn during this period.