SOLIDAR MEMBERS WELCOME REFUGEES AND DENOUNCE VIOLENT AND UNLAWFUL PUSH BACKS
2nd February 2017
At the end of 2015, Croatia, located in the middle of the so-called Western Balkan migrant route, has become a transit country for refugees, mostly coming from war-affected areas, trying to reach Western EU countries. Since then, many civil society organisations in the country, among which SOLIDAR member ‘Centre for Peace Studies’ activated several initiatives to promote a welcoming culture and to make pressure on the Croatian and EU institutions to respect international obligations towards beneficiaries of international protection as well as change restrictive migration policies, which put people in danger.
Among the initiative promoted by the Centre for Peace Studies, the initiative “Refugee Welcome” gathers more than 60 civil society organisations and 400 volunteers providing support to refugees on a daily basis - from humanitarian aid to legal assistance. The initiative “Are you Syrious?” which started in 2015 as a spontaneous gathering of volunteers helping the refugees, is now a registered NGO on its own. These NGO platforms recently published a report denouncing several cases of furtive illegal push backs from Croatia to Serbia carried out by the Croatian police, with the use of violence and humiliation.
In view of this unacceptable situation, SOLIDAR joins the call of our Croatian member, to put an immediate end to violent and unlawful expulsions of refugees from the Croatian territory, to implement sanctions against violent police and other officials and to return the unlawfully pushed-back refugees, who still wish to seek asylum in Croatia.