MSF has worked in Serbia since 1991, when the country was part of Yugoslavia. Since 2014, our teams have provided medical and psychological assistance for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.

Today, Serbia remains a country of transit. Some migrants and asylum seekers reside temporarily in urban settings across the country while others are staying in informal settlements, sleeping in tents in abandoned factories or fields close to the border with Hungary, Romania and Croatia.

Our teams provide medical assistance and health promotion activities as well as distribution of non-food items to asylum seekers and migrants in northern Serbia, at the border with Hungary and Romania. 
 
As people attempt to cross the borders, many sustain injuries from falling off the fence or because they are beaten with batons or sticks by the border forces, as well as irritations from tear gas and pepper spray. We assist people stranded in appalling conditions and carry out medical consultations for violence-related trauma to document violence and to bear witness of such concerning practices. 

Our activities in 2021 in the Balkans

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2021; staff and expenditure figures, and description and data on activities cover both Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

MSF in the Balkans in 2021 Thousands of people attempted to cross through the Balkans in 2021, in search of safety in other European destinations, despite reports of illegal pushbacks and indiscriminate violence by state authorities.
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In Serbia, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) assisted migrants and refugees living outside official accommodation, along the northern borders with Croatia, Hungary and Romania. Through mobile clinics, we offered medical and mental health care, as well as social support. In February 2021, MSF donated 2.5 tons of essential relief items, such as blankets and hygiene kits, to civil society organisations in Serbia to be distributed to people in need.

Between January and September, we also had teams working along the border areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina, providing medical and mental health care to victims of violence.

Throughout the year, and in both locations, our patients included victims of physical violence reportedly perpetrated by border authorities. We also treated people whose health had been affected by low temperatures in the region, poor living conditions, significant gaps in medical assistance and a lack of food, shelter, clean clothes and hygiene facilities.

 

 
Serbia

MSF reinforces activities after Hungary border closure

Project Update 17 Sep 2015
 
Provide Safe Passage
Mediterranean migration

EU: your fences kill. Provide safe and legal passage

Open Letter 11 Sep 2015
 
Serbia

On the refugee trail: “My dream is peace in Afghanistan”

Voices from the Field 9 Sep 2015
 
Bosnia-Herzegovina

MSF releases case study that reveals the organisation’s dilemmas to position itself in the face of the Srebrenica events

Report 1 Jul 2015
 
Asylum seeker in Serbia, JAN 2015
Photo Story

Transit denied: stranded in cold Serbia

19 Feb 2015
Photo Story
 
Asylum seeker in Serbia, JAN 2015
Serbia

Asylum seekers and migrants left in cold

Project Update 19 Feb 2015