Find out about our work in Serbia
When Hungary and Croatia closed their borders in 2016, Serbia became the ‘last stop’ on the Balkan route for an extended period.
Ignored by European authorities and with no viable asylum options at their disposal, thousands of refugees and migrants were stuck in limbo in border towns and transit centres across the country.
Although conditions have somewhat improved over the last years, the prospects for Serbia’s refugee population remain bleak. Camp arrangements are sober at best, education, health-care and psychosocial services are often lacking and integration or citizenship seem out of the question.
With little left to do but wait, mental health has steadily declined amongst those still stranded in Serbia. As people are increasingly desperate to cross the heavily guarded borders of Europe, men women and even children are experiencing brutality at the hands of Croatian and Hungarian security forces, as well as many abuses at the hands of their smugglers.
“I just want to go to some safe country, To start a normal life… like other people. Just to be safe, in peace” – Amir
Since early 2018, Serbia has become a transit country once again, with many people travelling through to reach Bosnia and beyond. Whilst many people were unable to continue their journey and remained in Serbia, in some camps over 70% of residents journeyed to Bosnia.
Choose Love have supported independent aid groups in Serbia since the winter of 2017. Through our main partner Collective Aid, we help to meet the needs where we can.