Ongoing human rights violations on the Balkan route

Even if it is less reported now, there are still people trying to flee to the EU via the Western Balkan route. Their situation is worsening, their fundamental rights are being trampled on. I have summarised current developments in the region here.

Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Most refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina do not want to stay in the country, but try to get from there to Croatia, and then to other EU countries. At present, Bosnia and Herzegovina is Freedom of movement of refugees severely restricted and cantons and entities in one and the same country are trying to push people into each other's part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This is how the Una-Sana Cantonment Police prevents through checkpoints...The refugees enter the canton via the rural roads. However, they cannot return because they are turned back by the border police of Republika Srpska. As a result, people are stranded in no man's land with no access to water or food. It is undignified how these people become victims of the political shenanigans in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where several sides are trying to push the refugees in each other's direction into the other parts of the country. 

So far, they are being cared for in a makeshift manner by the local Red Cross, but also by No Name Kitchen supplied. Hundreds of people are stranded there. 

Violence against refugees is on the rise. Thousands of people are gathering on private Facebook pages to share the locations of refugees and helpers and to call for violence against them.

middle of August residents blocked the entrance to the Miral campso that no further refugees are taken in there. At the end of August, there were Protests against refugees, in which hundreds of people took part.


In Croatia, we have been witnessing for years how refugees are systematically mistreated and illegally beaten into Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. Now reports of torture by police officers are also increasing. Two Croatian police officers were arrested for violence against refugees for tying up and severely torturing 16 people from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

My Irish colleague in the European Parliament, Clare Daly, has also researchedCroatia misused the funds intended for the establishment of an independent mechanism for border surveillance, and this mechanism was not established in the first place. However, this independent mechanism is a condition for Croatia to join the Schengen area. The EU Commission announced an investigation following the lifting of the Corona restrictions.

Serbia erects fence to northern Macedonia

The Serbian Government has a new fence erected to northern Macedoniato prevent the entry of refugees. Most of the people now arriving in Serbia via northern Macedonia want to continue quickly in the direction of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. There are currently around 4800 people in Serbian refugee camps themselves. While in 2015 there were no fences and walls between the Western Balkan states and their neighbours, today we have them all over the region.