Protecting people across borders: NGO statement ahead of EU-Western Balkans Summit

As more refugees and migrants arrive into the Western Balkans, the issue of border control is increasingly discussed. On 17 May 2018, the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia is a chance for heads of state to discuss cooperation in several areas, including migration and security. 

Ahead of this summit, a coalition of NGOs including Oxfam are calling on leaders in the EU and the Balkans to address a number of concerns, such as humane border management, the protection of civil society, and the right to seek asylum. 

We want to remind leaders that refugees and migrants, particularly women and children, face serious risks while crossing borders, including sexual violence and human trafficking. Protecting borders should not come at the expense of protecting people.