Balkan Regional Report – January 2022

Summary and analysis of pushbacks and internal violence documented by BVMN during the month of January

In January, the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) shared 29 testimonies of pushbacks impacting 344 people-on-the-move across the Balkans. This report brings together first-hand testimony from a range of countries in the region to look at the way European Union states and other actors are affecting systemic violence towards people crossing borders. It delves into emerging trends in pushbacks and border violence against people-on-the-move in northern Serbia, focusing mainly on evictions and forced removals in the towns of Srspki Krstur and Dala.

BVMN is a network of watchdog organisations active in Greece and the Western Balkans including No Name Kitchen, Rigardu, Are You Syrious, MobileInfoTeam, Push-back Alarm Austria, Josoor, InfoKolpa, Centre for Peace Studies, BlindSpots, Mare Liberum, Collective Aid, and Fresh Response. Combining insights from these different members, this month’s report covers:

  • updates on violence against people-on-the-move in Romania
  • mass deportations of people-on-the-move in Turkey
  • changes in state management of migration in Greece, especially increasing surveillance as a strategy of border control
  • MEP Cornelia Ernst’s visit to Bihać and Velika Kladuša
  • updates from Italy about the situation in Trieste

Read the full report for more information on these developments, as well as further updates from the region including: a letter by Syrian camp residents in Samos, updates from Lipa and Borici Camp, the fire in Karatepe Camp, and the wrongful detention of an asylum seeker in Italy who was airlifted out of Kabul in 2021 following the withdrawal of American forces in Afghanistan.