Migrant crisis in Serbia

Violent conflict, poverty, and political instability largely in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa has produced an unprecedented influx of refugees into Europe. The Balkans in particular have been a popular route for the majority seeking resettlement in Central and Western Europe, and continues to pose significant challenges to states, particularly in the Western Balkans. Sharp increases in migrant traffic that have exacerbated existing capacity gaps in many Balkan states. Closed-door policies of some states—particularly Hungary—have increased migrant pressure on neighboring countries. Additionally, as primarily transit states, these countries are faced with a surge in criminal gangs and human traffickers seeking to exploit migrants and refugees for profit.  

Border closures from Serbia’s neighbors of Hungary and Croatia have left thousands of migrants and refugees trapped within the country. Serbia has registered more than 37,000 asylum seekers since the beginning of 2015, with between 800-1,000 new arrivals daily. Lacking the capacity to handle the influx, Serbia seeks external assistance from NGOs and other nations.