Serbia: Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support
Serbia Progress Report – May 13 – June 30, 2016
August 19, 2016
Summary of Activities
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.
Asylum Info Centre
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.
Making a Huge Difference
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.
Education and Safety
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.
RMF has been responding to the refugee crisis in Serbia since January 2016, by providing comprehensive protection and medical services, including emergency triage, to persons of concern. Our teams work in and around the Belgrade city center and at Obrenovac Transit and Reception Centre, the second largest refugee camp in Serbia. We operate 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM five days a week at our mobile medical clinic located in Obrenovac, with a second medical team providing referrals for secondary and tertiary care institutions. From 2017 to 2018, we also provided services near the border with Croatia, operating the medical clinic at Adaševci Transit Centre from 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM, seven days a week.
Additional programs include a mobile dental clinic at Obrenovac Transit and Reception Centre—the first of its kind in Serbia—providing dental care for migrants, who previously only had access to emergency interventions. RMF Balkans also distributes hygiene kits at six camps throughout Serbia to help improve personal hygiene and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. To improve the residents’ quality of life, RMF renovated Obrenovac Transit and Reception Centre in 2018 and continues to maintain and use the renovated facilities to conduct cultural and empowerment activities.
- Provide comprehensive protection and assistance response
- Provide material assistance and information
- Provide psychosocial support
- Provide translation and cultural mediation services
- Support existing medical institutions with capacity and mobility
- Establish an information dissemination hotline