A group of 12 national and international humanitarian agencies, including the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Save the Children, has published a report about the conditions faced by unaccompanied minors still travelling along the Balkan Route.
The report ‘Out of Sight, Exploited and Alone’ notes that highly vulnerable people,
including unaccompanied minors, are still travelling from Turkey to Europe via Serbia, in most cases taking increased risks, despite the closure of the borders.
Currently, over 1,300 unaccompanied minors are at risk of exploitation, violence and trafficking throughout the region.
The situation is particularly harsh for minors sleeping rough in Belgrade, as a video from IRC shows.
To improve the situation for these unaccompanied children, the report suggests addressing the following:
- Insufficient and unreliable data or information management on unaccompanied children;
- Lack of options for safe accommodation and services;
- Lack of access to legal pathways and cross-border case management to improve continuity of care and protection of people crossing from one country to another;
- Exposure to exploitation, violence and trafficking, as a result of smuggling and violent border pushbacks by the authorities in the region.
Photo: CAFOD Photo Library