Challenges at Serbia’s Borders
Serbia, a crucial junction in the Balkans, faces ongoing immigration challenges, notably in asylum procedures and pushbacks. The country’s position, bordered by EU external borders, places it at the center of migration routes.
The Prevalence of Pushbacks
In recent years, the systemic denial of access to the territory and instances of pushbacks from Serbia to North Macedonia and Bulgaria have been a major concern. The period from 2016 to 2022 saw over 227,183 incidents of ‘prevention of illegal entries’ as reported by state officials, with 2022 alone witnessing at least 45,965 instances of territory access denial.
Push-backs from Other Countries
Due to its geographical position, Serbia has been the recipient of numerous pushbacks from Hungary, Romania, and Croatia. Almost daily, several hundred instances occur, with Hungary alone reporting nearly 160,000 instances. Additionally, the UNHCR and various CSOs report thousands more from Croatia and Romania. Many incidents involve violence and ill-treatment, highlighting a human rights crisis at Serbian borders.
Despite a 2022 Constitutional Court decision and an ongoing case at the European Court of Human Rights, the practice of pushbacks continues. The December 2022 Declaration between Hungary, Serbia, and Austria, aimed at reducing illegal arrivals to Serbia, suggests an intensification of these practices.
The Crisis of Rule of Law and Human Rights
At Serbian borders, there’s a glaring rule of law and human rights crisis, particularly for refugees from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The treatment of these refugees starkly contrasts with the approach towards Ukrainian refugees, who have not faced such practices.
Lack of Formal Cooperation
Formal cooperation mechanisms like readmission are virtually non-existent. Less than 1,000 persons were officially readmitted from EU countries to Serbia, underscoring the reliance on informal and illegal border control practices.
Our immigration support services for Serbia are designed to navigate these complexities. We offer legal assistance, guide asylum seekers, and advocate for fair and non-discriminatory practices in immigration and border control. Contact us for expert support in your immigration journey to Serbia.