Background information


Migration Control - MONTHLY REVIEW: OCTOBER 2023

This monthly press review covers Eurafrican migration control, migration and displacement in African countries and news on the European border regime. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Europa, Afrika


Ein Memorandum of Understanding mit Albanien, undurchsichtig, unmenschlich und ohne Rechtsgrundlage

Mit der x-ten propagandistischen Ankündigung der Regierung erfahren wir, dass Giorgia Meloni mit dem albanischen Premierminister Edi Rama eine Vereinbarung getroffen hat, die vorsieht, in Albanien zwei (Rückführungs-) Zentren zu errichten, die jeden Monat bis zu 3.000 als "irregulär" definierte Personen aufnehmen sollen. Mdiengetöse oder ernstzunehmende Extermalisierung? Ein Gastbeitrag von Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Balkanstaaten, Italien / Malta


Klikaktiv - The Thrid Quarterly Reprt in 2023

The report focus particularly on the situation in the informal settlements in the border area between Serbia and EU member states, and the report includes descriptions of living conditions, photos and refugees' quotes. Additionally, we tackled the topics of smugglers and shootings, deaths on the route (refugees which had gone dead or missing during their journey), push backs and conduct of foreign border police guards (including Frontex). read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten



Collective Aid and Medical Volunteers International
This is our fourth report documenting observations and trend updates regarding border pushbacks, international political developments and Serbian state action relating to people on the move in Northern Serbia. These findings refer to observations made during April and May and are produced by grassroots organisations working along the Serbian border with Hungary and Romania. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten


In defence of defenders: a practical guide to legal means and advocacy tools for criminalised Human Rights Defenders in Europe

This toolkit of Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Thessaloniki and Border Violence Monitoring Network seeks to support affected Human Rights Defenders by showing them mechanisms and avenues for help and self-defence in cases of criminalisation at various levels. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Europa


More people, more police and less safety

Annual report for 2022 from KlikAktiv (Serbien), about developments and observations of the fence construction on Serbia´s borders with North Macedonia and Bulgaria with an overview on the living conditions in the squats at the EU External borders. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten


Northern Serbia Advocacy Report Dec 22-Jan 23

Observations and Trends in Pushbacks, Border Violence, and Conditions in Northern Serbia from "Collective Aid" and "Medical Volunteers International".In the last two months, there has been a large amount of police repression and violent evictions happening in Northern Serbia. This report also concentrate on further analysis of violence and procedures associated with pushbacks from Hungary to Serbia. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten


Northern Serbia Advocacy Report Oct / Nov 2022

Observations and Trends in Pushbacks, Border Violence and Conditions in Northern Serbia, prepared by "collective aid" and "Medical Volunteers International" read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten



This report by the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN), with the support of PRO ASYL, summarizes the results of an investigation into the support of German authorities for Croatian border authorities from 2016-2021 (and for deployments of officers, until 2022). It sheds a light on donations of equipment, the deployment of officers, and further kinds of support. In addition, the organisation of the Croatian police with regard to pushback operations is discussed. On both political and practical levels, Germany has heavily supported Croatia in border enforcement and securitization efforts. This support has continued over the last several years despite overwhelming evidence of systemic human rights violations perpetrated by Croatian police forces against people-on-the-move (POM). read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten, Deutschland, Europäische Union, Europa


Klikaktik: The Third Quarterly Report in 2022: July, August, September

Klikaktiv has recently published a new report covering the main trends in the field concerning people on the move (POM) in Serbia, particularly in the northern border with Croatia, Hungary and Romania.

Between July and September, the number of POM on “the Balkan route” and in Serbia kept increasing, with more people sleeping rough in informal settlements in the border between Serbia and EU external borders. The majority of new arrivals entered Serbia through Bulgaria, unlike in the previous months, mostly through North Macedonia.

One of the key trends concerns the ongoing violent push backs to Serbia from EU member states and the increasing brutality used by the Hungarian police, with testimonies of physical violence against women, toddlers, teenage girls and the elderly. Some refugees also re-ported physical violence at the hands of Frontex in Hungary. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten, Osteuropa, Europäische Union, Europa



This report is the product of the Border Violence Monitoring Networkʼs (BVMN) efforts to document violence occurring against people-on-the-move (POM) within the borders of countries along the Balkan Route. In addition to identifying cross-border pushbacks, BVMN collects evidence of physical, material, and structural violence against POM within Serbia. The report includes data collected in Belgrade, Subotica, Majdan and Šid, from testimonies of POM and observations from BVMN members, painting a comprehensive picture of physical violence against POM, violence inflicted by law enforcement officers and civilians from far-right groups, as well as instances of structural violence (i.e., advancing and perpetuating inequality through social institutions and processes, such as restricting access to asylum, evictions, harassment and criminalization of solidarity). read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten, Osteuropa, Europa


Relocation from Greece to Germany: Relief for the Hotspot System or Alibi Policy?

Our report 'Relocation from Greece to Germany: Relief for the Hotspot System or Alibi Policy?' , critically examines the actual implementation of the relocation measures that were propagated by the EU as a 'solidarity-based' solution to the devastating conditions in the hotspot camps in 2020 and 2021.

The report poses the following questions: Did the redistribution process improve the situation of asylum seekers, or did it exclusively aim at a structural "relief" of the EU external border states? Who could (not) take part in the relocation programme? And what did the procedures offer to the people in order to build a future in Germany?

As our research reveals, the actual admission quotas were disproportionately low in comparison to the number of people living in the burnt-down camp 'Moria' and in other camps on the Greek islands at the time. The selection processes remain largely obscure and appear arbitrary. As testimonies from relocated people show, the lengthy procedures proved to be stressful and a source of new uncertainties, rather than future prospects. The situation for people who are forced to stay on the islands has not improved, but worsened since then.

In addition to two testimonies from people who have been relocated to Germany, the report includes an outlook on the current political declarations of intent regarding further relocation measures, such as in the EU Commission's New Migration and Asylum Pact of 2020, and the coalition agreement of the current federal government. It becomes clear that the actual cause of the conditions on the Greek islands, the Dublin III Regulation, is not questioned.

In view of the widespread failure of EU member states to take responsibility, and the numerous problems with previous relocation measures, that we have been able to highlight in our research, we are calling for an end to the EU's inhuman border and hotspot policies.

You can read the full report here: .

The report is a result of the research project on EU relocation procedures funded by the Safe Passage Foundation, as a cooperation of borderline-europe - Menschenrechte ohne Grenzen e.V., Borderline Sicilia, Equal Rights Beyond Borders, Sea-Watch and the Refugee Council Berlin.

Here, you can also read our report 'EU ad hoc relocation - A lottery from the sea to the hotspots and back to unsafety' on relocation measures from Italy and Malta in 2019. read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Griechenland / Türkei, Deutschland


Joint Statement calling for the dismissal of UNHCR’s special envoy Vincent Cochetel

The UNHCR special envoy for the Western and Central Mediterranean has criticized the grieving mothers of migrants lost in the Mediterranean Sea, for “encouraging or funding” their children’s journeys, in a tweet posted on Tuesday (September 6). A coalition of groups and NGOs have written a statement calling for his resignation, which includes reactions from some of the mothers and sisters of the disappeared. We also join the statement and condemn Cochetel's statement in the strongest possible terms! read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Europäische Union, Europa, Afrika


Klikaktik: The Second Quarterly Report in 2022: April, May, June

Klikaktiv, a non-profit civil society organization, has recently published “The Second Quarterly Report in 2022”, covering the period from April to June. The report informs about the main trends regarding people on the move in Serbia, particularly in the northern border area with Croatia, Hungary and Romania; the process of fence construction on the border between Serbia and North Macedonia, and the situation of people on the move intending to continue towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. Particular focus is given to the violent push backs from the EU member states, and the involvement of foreign police officers and Frontex staff in such practices.
In general, there are more people on the move in Serbia, whilst the number of those traveling through the Balkan route is, according to some estimations, as high as in 2016. The majority tried to continue towards Hungary, and some refugees stated they had been pushed back to Serbia. Many of the people on the move are staying in squats, and there is an increase of women and children in these arrangements (12.5%). These individuals lack access to sanitary facilities and fundamental social services, and are exposed to safety risks and violence. The Klikaktiv team has identified 25 squat locations and 19 active squats, and regularly visited (and reported on) some of them.
At the Southern borders, the construction of the fence between Serbia and North Macedonia continues, but the general public remains unaware. The climate of hostility in Serbia is contextualized in regards to Frontex new joint operation “Terra 2022” announced earlier this year; the increasing deterring policies and unsafety of the route, with some losing their lives on the way; several far-right, anti-migrant political parties entering the Serbian parliament; and the continuation of deportations from Serbia to Bulgaria.
Klikaktiv expects the number of people on the move in Serbia (and in the squats) to increase, and warns against smugglers exerting ever more control over these populations. The team calls on the Ministry of Interior of Serbia to register the people on the move, facilitating their access to asylum and international protection. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten, Osteuropa, Europäische Union, Europa


Solidary Wheels: Annual Report 2021 - Melilla

The non-profit association Solidary Wheels is raising awareness towards European border policies and the constant violation of fundamental rights arising from these policies since 2015, when the project started in the Spanish enclave Melilla. With regards to the geopolitical context of Melilla, it is notable that it is one of the main points where the Western Mediterranean migratory route culminates, and therefore it is a gateway to Europe from the African continent for many people on the move.
By documenting, doing advocacy work regarding Human rights violation, promoting socio-legal advice and social accompaniment, the association fights for the defense and promotion of human rights for everyone. One of their tasks is accompanying young people on the move, who are under state guardianship and asylum seekers, who pass through Melilla as a transit point before reaching Europe as their final destination.
In their annual report from 2021, Solidary Wheels gives an overview about the latest happenings in the region, the role of Melilla in terms of the so-called migration management and immigration regulation of the EU, as well as for border externalisation. It summarises the structure of the association and its transversal themes, the activists work on.
read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Spanien, Nordafrika, Europa


Klikaktiv report "Fences: to be continued - Border fence construction at the Serbian - North Macedonia border"

The non-profit civil society organization Klikaktiv documents and describes the process of fence construction at the border between Serbia and North Macedonia in their latest report "Fences: to be continued - Border fence construction at the Serbian - North Macedonia border". The team of Klikativ gathered this information onsite during a field visit in June 2022. The report contains information on general refugee activity in the region, as well as presence and activities of Frontex at the border area.
At the end of April 2020 when Serbia was in a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Decree was adopted that allowed the construction of the fence along the highway in the direction from Skoplje (North Macedonia) to Belgrade (Serbia). Between June 2021 and June 2022, a minimum of 10-15 km was built. In total, the fence is supposed to have three layers, one of is made of barbed wire.
The general public in Serbia is still mostly unaware that the government is constructing a fence on one of the country's southern borders, while the information on the construction plans and financing remains unavailable to the public. At the same time, everyday life and work of the local communities in the villages surrounding the fence are significantly disrupted by its construction.
Serbia has been a main transit country since the so called “EU-Turkey deal” was agreed on in 2016. The construction of the fence however will rather not prevent refugees from coming to Serbia and passing through it. Rather, the construction will cause a shift in the route and go along on the side of villages in Kosovo.
Klikaktiv condemns the construction of the border fence and demands a stop of any further expansion, which will make the journey of people on the move even more dangerous. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Balkanstaaten


Migrant Smuggling: Why we need a Paradigm Shift

Common narratives often describe smugglers as ruthless criminals who take advantage of the distress of people on the move for their own financial gain.
Counter-smuggling policies of European governments focus on cracking down on smuggling through more policing and criminal sanctions against (potential smugglers). These measures are often justified by policy makers with the need to protect the safety of migrants. In the discourse on smuggling, little attention is paid to the harm and violence experienced by people on the move as a result of these measures. The reasons why migrants turn to smugglers, namely the lack of opportunities for "regular" entry into Europe due to the militarisation of the borders, are also rarely mentioned.
Picum's research shows that Counter-smuggling policies are more likely to harm the safety and rights of refugees than to protect them, and can have devastating consequences for the situation of those affected and their supporters.
read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Europäische Union, Europa


Islets, Interim Measures and Illegal Pushbacks: The Erosion of the Rule of Law in Greece

This report documents the recent increase in use of Rule 39 measures (the suspension of deportation) on the Greek mainland, in order to secure access to international protection. It specifically details and analyses three case studies of Mai and June 2022 whereby transit groups despite the European Court of Human Rights rulings were reportedly pushed back to Turkey after several days on the islets without food, water, or medical care. In order to contextualise these events, the report briefly introduces a history of Evros islets in the context of pushbacks, the lack of access to asylum on mainland Greece and interim measures at the European Court on Human Rights. The report additionally observes the concerning trend of criminalisation of civil society organisations. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Griechenland / Türkei


The death of Blessing Matthews – a counter-investigation on violence at the alpine frontier

In May 2018, 21-year old Blessing Matthew drowned in the Durance river while fleeing a gendarme patrol on the day she crossed the Franco-Italian border. The case was dismissed on June 18, 2020 without any additional investigations. The association Tous Migrants and Matthew’s family have since been fighting to reopen the case. They noted inconsistencies in the statements of the mobile gendarmes in the prosecutor’s investigation file and contacted Border Forensics to conduct a counter-investigation. With the methods of spatio-temporal analysis, and on the basis of the precise and coherent testimony of an eye witness and fellow traveler of Blessing Matthew in situ, it was possible to reconstruct the events and shine light on the many omissions, contradictions and grey areas of the judicial police investigation regarding the conditions that led to Blessing's death. Hervé S. testifies that the pursuit of the gendarmes led to Blessing Matthew’s fall into the Durance and her death. Both the testimony of Hervé S., and the spatio-temporal analysis of the statements of the mobile gendarmes constitute new elements that allow Blessing's family to request the reopening of the judicial investigation. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Frankreich, Europäische Union


Resilience and Resistance. In Defiance of the Criminalisation of Solidarity Across Europe

The criminalisation of solidarity strikes at the heart of the values that Europe has given itself and contributes to the erosion of rule of law and democracy, while seriously impacting the rights and welfare of the most vulnerable in our societies and those who seek to protect and assist them. This report provides a thorough investigation of the criminalisation of solidarity with migrants in Europe in 2021-2022. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Europäische Union, Europa