Since the closing of the so-called Balkan route in March 2016, which served as a humanitarian corridor for refugees trying to reach the European Union, the irregular migration channels boosted in all countries along the route with the consequence of putting lives and conditions of refugees at higher risk. The situation has also led to many cases of pushbacks and mass deportations from one country to another as extensively reported by non-governmental human rights organisations, activists and the UNHCR.
In one of the countries along the Western Balkan route, Macedonia, civil society and human rights organisations have observed an increase of the irregular migration flow. In recent months, our partner LEGIS has provided aid to an average of 750 people per month on the irregular migration route, in the Lojane Village.
The services provided by LEGIS vary from the distribution of humanitarian aid to monitoring of human rights abuses and documenting pushbacks and mass expulsion practices in the North of Macedonia. LEGIS also works on psychosocial support and stress relief activities in transit centres in the country.
A more extensive situation update by LEGIS can be found here.
This article appeared in the 2nd issue of our 'On the spot' newsletter, which you can find here.