Tuesday, 20 June 2017

On the Occasion of the World Refugee Day

“I've been traveling for two years now. I have crossed the borders of Iran, Turkey and Bulgaria with the smugglers. I stayed in Bulgaria for a year and a month. After being caught, I was in prison for four months. I was given food every second or third day and was beaten regularly. Once the guards took us to the field and shot at us with an air rifle. I was hit in the ankle. We were hosed with ice water. They would beat us so much that the whole cell was bloody: we, the beds and bedding, the walls and the floor. It was awful. After that we were in a closed-type centre and then we were transferred to an open-type centre”, says A.M. - an unaccompanied minor.

The World Refugee Day - A day when we must not forget the thousands of people who had to leave their homes and embark on a journey to the unknown. 

Today, on the World Refugee Day, fear and uncertainty are accompanying the thousands of children on their path to a brighter future. These children do not choose hunger, anxiety and insecurity. They, like all other children, dream of carefree childhood and children’s play. These children have not chosen to be refugees and hostages of the decisions made by others. These children want to be children. "I don’t know what it looks like to be in prison, but this looks very much like the prisons that can be seen in movies," says B.B. (16) about a refugee centre in Hungary.

Today, when there are more than 6,000 refugees in Serbia, including a large number of children, we recall that children refugees are at a greater risk of violence, physical and sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking in human beings. On the road of uncertainty, they often lose their closest people and become even more vulnerable. Therefore, we must take into account the best interest of the child and treat refugee children primarily as children.

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