Limits to Access to Asylum along the Balkans Route

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Refugee Rights Europe

The formal closure of the ‘Balkan route’ in 2016 was part of a strategy to hinder the movement of refugees and displaced people through the Balkans and into Western Europe. Despite this, since 2018, more than 65,000 people entered the region, using alternative and often more dangerous routes, only to frequently be met with negligence, violations of their rights, pushbacks, and beatings.

The aim of this report is to provide an overview of the situation pertaining to access to asylum in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. In doing so, it places a particularly strong emphasis on BiH and Serbia, the two countries in the area with the highest number of displaced people present in-country.

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