Fences and inhumane conditions don’t stop people on the move

Migrants behind a temporary fence between Hungary and Serbia, Picture via the Washington Post, Zoltan Gergely Kelemen/ AP

As the Washington Post article makes clear, Hungary putting up a fence does not stop people from coming. They are already on the move, leaving behind the ruins of their destroyed home countries.

“Hungary’s fence is not the solution to Europe’s problems,” said Erno Simon, a Budapest-based spokesman for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. “It derailed the flow of people for some months. But even as more and more obstacles emerge, people continue to come and try to find other ways.”

In addition, there is no other choice than to continue. Once people are on the move and made it half way, if does not make much sense to turn around.

Graphic via the Washinton Post

First-hand infos from the Balkan route

On Monday we had the pleasure to get some first-hand in-depth information from an activist who has spent several months in Belgrade supporting the people on the move.

Fleeing towards asylum becomes more and more dependent on the resources people have

The closed borders don’t mean that people do not move anymore. In a lot of cases it just means that the prices rise for the ones who are on the move. That means two things: now it all the more becomes a journey not only of the “fittest“ but also of the richest. The people who are now on the Balkan route are still on the move. And they are determined. However, a while ago there were mostly young and healthy men who were sent by their families. Now, it is also families and mothers with children who move on. It is important to note that this happens in increasingly difficult conditions. Fences are built and enlarged. Military patrols the fences. Hungary’s fence is 175 km long and cost around 80 million $, and those costs do not even include yet all the money the state invests to maintain it.  For the migrants the consequence is that they have to pay more for the people who get them through the borders, the so called smugglers. Not to mention the camp and living conditions on the way.

We need support on the route as well as at (the new) home

All our solidarity networks and refugee support that we are building here are equally important. The great work of the people who support further south makes all the more sense if the people who get to the north also can access their right to asylum there in a humane and friendly way. Our solidarity with the people who come here as refugees can turn into a society that does not leave space for racism and segregation.

Therefore, let’s engage in our work with justPeople as well as all the other great initiatives who engage for a diverse society.

For further information on the Balkan route:

On the outer European borders:

And the no border network Serbia:

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