Belgrade center as an El Dorado for smugglers of refugees

Author/source: SEEbiz / Deutsche Welle 
Published on: 28.01.2017. - 22:28:52 

BELGRADE - Refugees have heard about the park across the Belgrade bus station while still in Istanbul or Sofia – that is where the smugglers are always present. The price of their services grows with despair. Many people who are stranded in Serbia see them as the only lifeline.


Presentation of Study: The Mental Health of Refugees – Establishing Communication and Trust

Psychosocial Innovation Network (PIN) presented results of a Study on mental health of refugees and asylum seekers, as well as evaluation of support systems from different perspectives. Study was conducted through project PIN implemented in 2016th with UNHCR support.

The meeting was also contributed by NGO Atina, UNHCR Serbia, and Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, Dr. Zoran Đurić as well as Mr. Wael Alzainab and Mr. Marko Gagić.


Despite border closures, smugglers move hundreds of refugees through Europe daily

Despite the closure and militarization of many of Europe’s borders, hundreds of refugees continue to enter using transnational smuggling networks in the Balkans. Reporter Andrew Connelly has more from the Serbian capital Belgrade.

In a muddy stretch of land in the Serbian capital, colloquially termed Afghan Park, smugglers and potential clients rub shoulders and illicit journeys to northern Europe are bought and sold. The lucrative black market transactions occur, appropriately, in the shadow of Belgrade University’s economics department.


Smuggling of refugees: Making profits on other people’s misfortune

Several thousand refugees in Serbia, after the closure of the West Balkan route they were passing through, is waiting for Europe to open the borders, or to try and reach the desired country with smugglers, risking their own lives. Refugees, whose number in Europe has not been this high since the Second World War, are finding ways to avoid border crossings because they cannot pass them legally. Smugglers are earning money on other people’s misfortune, and organized crime has been flourishing.


Migrations can not be stopped, closing borders pushes people into the hands of smugglers

Belgrade non-governmental organisation Atina has been fighting against human trafficking and all forms of gender-based violence since 2004, and dedicates a special place in their programmes to the assistance to refugees, and the protection and advocacy, especially of women and children refugees. In Kontrola leta, we talked with Jelena Hrnjak from NGO Atina.


NGO Atina for New York Times

Food being distributed at a refugee camp near Idomeni, Greece

ATHENS — Shortly after landing on the Greek island of Lesbos in a waterlogged dinghy from Turkey, Rahin Salami, an Afghan hoping to reach Germany, boarded a ferry for the port of Piraeus, near Athens. Halfway through the ride, he later recounted, a man in a black jacket approached.