Refugee Crisis: Illegal Deportations of Asylum Seekers Along Balkan Route

Written by on December 27, 2016 in Europe - No comments

The UNHCR and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have accused countries along the so-called Balkan Route of illegal push backs. These are illegal deportations, which take place before cases of individual refugees are even being looked at properly.

Media in Serbia and Croatia quoted an UNHCR spokeslady saying around 1,000 people from the Middle East, Asia and Africa were expelled. According to the organisation, this is a sharp increase.

Human rights organisations specifically mentioned an increasing number of illegal deportations from Serbia to Bulgaria. In one case, which supposedly happened this month, a Syrian family was dropped off in a forest located in the border region between Serbia and Bulgaria at -11 degrees Centigrade and told to walk to Bulgaria. They were rescued by a police officer who was alerted by helpers. That family was supposed to be brought to a refugee camp.

In another case, refugees in Serbia were woken up early in the morning and taken to a forest, close to the Macedonian border.

In 2016, at least four refugees froze to death in Bulgaria alone. Incidents like the ones reported in Serbia probably happen frequently. At the same time, refugees on the move sometimes underestimate the weather in Europe.

Even refugees who do have asylum papers issued in Serbia are reportedly being pushed back. This kind of behaviour by authorities is not just illegal. In some cases, it puts lives in danger.

By im.

Photo: Symbolic.





About the Author

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. Please click to support our advertisers!

Leave a Comment