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UNHCR Serbia Monthly Update, November 2020

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The number of observed arrivals somewhat decreased counting 1,649 (from 2,703 in October): 74% arrived from North Macedonia, 16% from Albania (through Kosovo1 ), 5% from Montenegro and smaller numbers from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Bulgaria, Hungary, etc.; three persons arrived by air from Turkey. 66% originated from Afghanistan, 17% from Syria, 4% from Pakistan, etc.; 82% were adult males, 3% women and 15% children, including 162 UASC (comp. to 279 in October). In Jan-Nov 2020, 24,180 new refugees and migrants have been observed to have arrived in Serbia.

Eight new cases of Covid-19 amongst the refugees/migrants were reported in November, luckily without casualties, bringing the total number of cases recorded since March to 17. With additional amounts of PPE and disinfectants, also bed linen, procured for and delivered to SCRM and Vranje hospital.

Ninety-seven intentions to seek asylum were registered in November (compared to 173 in October) and seven persons applied for asylum (20 in October). The Asylum Office (AO) adjudicated on 14 asylum applications by granting refugee status to one person and subsidiary protection to three (represented by UNHCR project lawyers), and by rejecting applications of another 10 persons.

By end-November, AO has granted international protection in Serbia to 34 persons (16 have been granted asylum and 18 subsidiary protection) in 2020.

Serbian public was touched by the story of K.M. - Syrian man accommodated in Sombor Reception/Transit Centre (RTC), who initiated a money collection amongst Arabic-speaking residents of this RTC for Serbian children who suffer from rare illnesses which require expensive treatments abroad. Like a domino effect, this initiative spread amongst all residents of Sombor, Kikinda and Obrenovac RTCs and Krnjača and Tutin Asylum Centres (AC), with the positive media carrying the story under the title „Migrants collecting money for treatment of children from Serbia“.