Balkan Region Report – January 2021

Monthly Report on pushbacks

In January, the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) reported on 21 illegal pushbacks, affecting 684 people in total. This report summarises the latest trends in border policing and provides updates from across the Balkans on violence being perpetrated against people-on-the-move. Specifically, patterns in pushback practice are examined alongside several important court rulings and EU level developments.

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Serbia as a Transit Country – A Timeline

This timeline provides a graphic overview of Serbia becoming part of the buffer zone of the EU in regards to curbing migration. Starting with the visa liberalisation between Serbia and the EU in 2009, continuing with the increase of clandestine transit migration from 2011 onwards, the state-organised humanitarian passage in 2015, the so-called closure of the corridor and the resulting “Balkan impasse” from 2016 and the rise of the anti-migration far right in Serbia from 2020, the history of the Serbian part of the so-called Balkan route will be traced and contextualized.

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OHCHR Submission: The role of technology in illegal pushbacks from Croatia to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia

Today we are sharing BVMN’s submission to the un Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance for the report on Race, Borders, and Digital Technologies.

The use of technology in pushback practices has only contributed to the ease in which these racist and repressive procedures are carried out against people-on-the-move in the Balkans. Devices like drones, thermal imaging cameras, and vehicle scanners have been weaponised against people-on-the-move, making them easier to detect and thus compounding their vulnerability and the dangers they face. With the support from network member’s No Name Kitchen, Info Kolpa and other anonymous partners, BVMN submitted this report to the Special Rapporteur last year, where it is now being hosted. Continue reading “OHCHR Submission: The role of technology in illegal pushbacks from Croatia to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia”

Italian Court Ruling on Chain Pushback

A new ruling from the Court of Rome has been released, finding in favour of an applicant who was subject to an illegal chain pushback from Italy, via Slovenia and Croatia, to Bosnia-Herzegovina. This important development was brought to the court by Italian legal association ASGI, and supported by the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN), who provided a first hand testimony from the applicant. The court found unequivocal evidence of violations of international law, and acknowledged the applicant’s right to enter Italy immediately, and to full and proper access to the asylum system.

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Balkan Region Report – December 2020

During December 2020, the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) gathered 25 testimonies of pushbacks, impacting a total of 707 people-on-the-move. This rounds off a year of consistent and compelling evidence collected by BVMN, exposing the systematised use of pushbacks at the European Union external border. In this report, updates cover a variety of violations including pushback practices, internal violence and the crisis around winterised shelter.

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