Throughout the reporting period, around 1,200 refugees remain in Belgrade, putting local aid efforts under heavy strain. The asylum center at Krnjača is filled to capacity; as a result, the number of refugees who sleep outside every night is increasing, averaging around 150–200 per night. As the numbers of refugees and migrants increase in Belgrade parks, so to do the tensions and stress about admission priorities in the north and aid provisions.
Increased restrictive measures that ignore proper asylum procedures encourage refugees and asylum seekers to pursue more dangerous, irregular routes into Europe, exposing them to ruthless smugglers. Unaccompanied children are especially at risk. RMF Serbia is faced with treating the results of these frustrations each day.
Establishing and providing sufficient gender-sensitive, basic services and protection from violence and exploitation for women and girls, including responding to the needs and rights of excluded and underserved groups among refugees, including single women travelling alone, female-headed households, pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, unaccompanied minors, and persons with disabilities is needed.
The RMF mobile medical outreach team receives referrals from the Asylum Info Centre (AIC) for all cases requiring medical attention. RMF staff identifies vulnerable individuals in the field and escorts them to the AIC. In exchange for our support of the AIC’s work, they refer all their cases to RMF for medical checkups and management of complex cases.
Currently, RMF Serbia is the only medical actor in the field providing services from 6:00 PM – 9:00 AM and on weekends. The ability to provide refugees with escorting and transportation is a significant contributor that sets our project apart from others.
RMF distributed safe travelling kits to women, which included a flashlight and whistle to assist in combating against gender-based violence. Gender focused awareness was facilitated by RMF with discussions surrounding safety and security for women, and what to do in the event of gender-based violence.
Serbia continues to face an increasing number of asylum seekers: since the beginning of the refugee crisis, 393,069 people were registered in Serbia. Since January 2016, RMF has been responding to the refugee crisis by providing comprehensive protection and medical services to persons of concern. Our team works in and around Belgrade providing 24/7 access to needed services. Our main goal is to provide first aid and basic primary health care for refugees in Serbia. Our team also has the skills to identify and refer extremely vulnerable individuals—women, children, victims of sexual or gender based violence, victims of human trafficking, or victims of other forms of exploitation—for appropriate assistance and follow up by relevant institutions.