European border restrictions leave thousands stranded

Published: 20th November 2015

In the last couple of days, a number of governments have instituted a range of restrictions against the movements of refugees and migrants from Greece through the Western Balkans and further northwards.

Oxfam’s migration policy lead, Sara Tesorieri, said: "As of 20 November, several countries along the Balkans route -- Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia -- are only allowing  people from Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq to cross their borders. People of many different nationalities who are seeking safety in Europe travel this route, but at present all other migrants are being refused entry. This decision risks leaving thousands stranded and their future uncertain.  Oxfam is very concerned about the potential deterioration of the humanitarian situation should this policy continue, and urges these countries to ensure that their borders remain accessible, especially for people fleeing conflict and persecution to reach safety. Oxfam also urges local and national authorities to allow NGOs to have access to assist these people. 

"All countries must uphold the rights of all refugees and migrants, in line with their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, by resisting pushback and ensuring all people have their case for asylum heard on an individual basis, and not according to arbitrary decisions based on nationality." 

Contact information

Attila Kulcsar | Humanitarian Media Officer | | +447471 142974 | Twitter @attilalondon

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