Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Praxis Published Protection Monitoring Report on Migration for March 2017

There were two important new developments in March. One refers to the amendments to the Law on Asylum in Hungary, under which all asylum seekers who enter Hungary legally will be detained in the camps at the border with Serbia. This applies to single men, families with children and UASC older than 14. UASC under the age of 14 will be placed in the open-type accommodation in other parts of the country. Detention in the closed-type centres, i.e. mandatory detention, will last until the completion of the asylum procedure. Any person who enters Hungary illegally, bypassing the transit zone, will be pushed back. The second development is the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in case of Ilias and Ahmed v. Hungary. In its judgment of 14 March 2017, the ECtHR found that Hungary violated several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights by detaining illegally two refugees from Bangladesh after their legal entry to Hungary in September 2015. During the shortened asylum procedure, they were kept in the detention unit Roszke in the conditions that can be considered inhuman and degrading. After the procedure, they were expelled to Serbia in an informal manner.   Although UNHCR proclaimed Serbia an unsafe third country in 2012, the Hungarian government adopted a decree in 2015 according to which Serbia is a safe third country - Decree no. 191/2015. (VII.21) on safe countries of origin and safe third countries.

Unlike the accommodation capacity in the reception and asylum centres, the number of newly arrived refugees/migrants continued to grow. As a result, the number of refugees/migrants staying in Belgrade increased. A large number of refugees/migrants are still trying to get hold of the EU with the help of smugglers or independently. On a daily basis, Praxis’ mobile team had a chance to talk with the refugees/migrants who had been pushed back from Hungary, Croatia and Romania, often by force, without the possibility to seek asylum. Hygiene of the abandoned warehouses in which refugees/migrants stay was improved thanks to the efforts of several organisations and volunteers. Another improvement consists of the introduction of breakfast, made possible by Oxfam, so that now refugees/migrants have three meals every day. 

Praxis continued its field work in March and provided a total of 659 newly arrived refugees and migrants (376 adults and 283 children) in Belgrade with relevant information, which is a slightly higher number of arrivals than in the previous month. Out of the total number of newly arrived refugees and migrants, 288 persons or 43.7% of them were from Afghanistan. A total of 55 newly arrived refugees and migrants, mainly families, were from Syria, which accounts for 8.3% of the total number. This percentage is smaller than the percentage from the previous period. 119 refugees came from Iraq (18.1%), mainly families, which is a higher percentage than in the previous period. 112 refugees (17%) were from Pakistan, all single men (75) and UASC (37), like in the previous period. A total of 52 refugees (7.9%) came from other countries - Sri Lanka, Libya, Egypt, Palestine.

Download the Protection Monitoring Report HERE.

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