INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS DAY – 18 DECEMBER
As we approach the International Migrants Day, which has been celebrated on 18 December for 30 years, Group 484 believes that it is important to mention the activities carried out to help overcome the consequences of the COVID-19 emergency, as well as the experiences of migrants and aid providers.
According to the data of the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia, there are currently around 6,100 people in Serbia accommodated in reception centres and centres for asylum seekers, mostly from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Bangladesh. Since the beginning of the epidemic, 17 cases of migrants and refugees have been registered in the centres infected with the COVID-19 virus, according to data from the UNHCR office in Serbia.
In the spirit of the slogan “No one is safe until everyone is protected”, Group 484 continuously provides support and assistance to migrants and refugees accommodated in reception centres and centres for asylum seekers in Krnjača, Vranje, Bogovađa and Banja Koviljača during the epidemic.
Through psychosocial and occupation activities, expert associates empower migrants and refugees to overcome the potential negative consequences of the epidemic more easily and efficiently. The spread of the virus, limited movement and strict preventive measures during 2020 have further aggravated migrant travel, which is full of challenges and risks at every step.
The importance of support and care in such situations is illustrated by the words of sixteen-year-old R.A. from Afghanistan: “I was the happiest when you visited me in quarantine. You show that you care about me, you talk to me. My parents are not with me and it means a lot when someone asks me how I am, takes care of me, when I see that it is important to them that I am well. I want the weather to get better, to be able to go further, to France or Belgium, to get the papers and to be able to visit my parents. It’s hard to be alone on the road.”
The workshops are part of the European Union’s “Guidelines for Migrants – A Guide through the Labyrinth” project and the regional project “Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in the Western Balkans (PaCT)” supported by GIZ in cooperation with the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).