Stranded in Serbia: Documenting the Lives of People Caught by the Closure of the Balkan Migration Route

Authors: Borjana Lubura*, University of Hawaii At Manoa Geography Department - HONOLULU, HI
Topics: Migration
Keywords: Refugees, migration, EU migration crisis, Serbia
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Studio 4, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In 2015, more than a million people, with the largest share from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, made their way toward Western European by passing through Turkey, Greece, and the Western Balkans. In response, countries along the migration route built walls, signed restrictive migration agreements, and by summer 2016 had all but closed down the route. This left thousands of people stranded, with more than 7000 in Serbia, the most prominent country of the passage. Two years later, the majority of these people are still in a state of limbo facing difficulties of adjusting to the border closures and danger of still attempting to cross them. In Serbia, forty six percent are children, while every third child is unaccompanied minor boy. This presentation draws on field research in Serbia in summer 2017 to discuss the difficulties these people face on a daily basis as they are trying to cross the border walls with Croatia and Hungary. The paper humanizes the people stuck in Serbia by telling the stories of why they left home and documented the difficulties of their daily life.

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