In a report released on 7th August, FRONTEX adulated at the decrease of “migration flow” from the end of 2015 until now. The publication cites the closure of the route in 2016 as being a key component in the decrease of migration, as well as crediting enhanced security measures at EU borders with Serbia, translating to primarily Romania, Hungary, and Croatia:
At the southern common borders between the region and EU Member States the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia maintained their efforts both on their own (internal re-deployments) and with international support in the framework of either EC-funded interventions (in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia) or Frontex-coordinated joint operations (in Bulgaria and Greece).
In the north of the region, Hungary strengthened border controls by re-enforcing police presence, erecting technical obstacles while also redefining working procedures. Romania also implemented an array of measures aimed at deterring migration from Serbia, among which it increased its detection capabilities through redeployments of staff and equipment from other border police units or other national law enforcement structures. Croatia also continued to devote resources to maintaining enhanced controls at its common border with Serbia.
It seems preposterous to see the widespread denial of violent pushbacks from Croatia and other condemnations from EU bodies of Hungary’s ever-more sadistic anti-migration policies, which now include denying food to individuals who have had their asylum claims rejected and who remain in transit zones between Hungary and Serbia.
Human Rights Watch recently published a report on the absolute inhumanity of this policy, stating:
“‘The government has stooped to a new inhumane low by refusing food to people in their custody, apparently revelling in breaching human-rights law, including its obligations as a European Union member,’ said Lydia Gall, Eastern EU and Balkans researcher at Human Rights Watch. ‘This disregard for people’s wellbeing smacks of a cynical move to force people to give up their asylum claims and leave Hungary.’
Two Afghan families and a pair of Syrian brothers are among those who were denied food after their asylum applications were rejected under a new admissibility procedure. While a breastfeeding woman and children in the Afghan families were provided with food, they were prohibited from sharing it with other family members, the families’ legal representatives told Human Rights Watch.”
Hungary coolly responded that it is not required them to take care of those who have been denied asylum, however their actions can be broadly considered in violation of human rights, especially when taken in the context of the criminalization of any support of refugees or migrants by citizens or NGOs. Hungary’s “Stop Soros” law not only implemented a high tax on funding raised by NGOs dedicated to assisting vulnerable refugees and migrants, but also included the right for Hungarian authorities to deport those who have had their asylum claims rejected, even if they have filed an appeal.
Although FRONTEX and other official bodies would distance themselves from responsibility for these egregious crimes, their support for “police presence” and “technical obstacles” and unwillingness to perhaps threaten a withdrawal of FRONTEX support form countries engaging in systematic violation of human rights indicates at best, a deeply irresponsible attitude of neglect.
Furthermore, in February of 2018, both Albania and Serbia acknowledged that they would be receiving additional funding from FRONTEX in order to stop irregular migration flows.
For all of the official hand-wringing and finger-wagging when evidence of these crimes becomes undeniable, it’s clear that there is no room for compromise unless the persons made to suffer are those trying to seek better lives. We cannot view each individual story of violence in isolation from one another as it is clear that there is a broader systematic approach to the abuse and oppression of people on the move.
Reposted from Are You Syrious
Featured image: graffiti in front of the Frontex HQs in Warsaw, source: https://migracja.noblogs.org/