[ 19. Oct 2015 ]

Update on new 'humanitarian corridor' route, 18. Oct 2015 - 22:00h

General Info: Since the route of the corridor has been changed, there have been several delays of traffic and transports on different parts of the route. This leads to people being stuck for a day or more, unable to continue with official transports.


This can also mean being stuck at a certain spot of the route without proper support/infrastructure like food, beds etc., depending on the location. This situation has to do with the fact that countries like Austria and Slovenia only accept to take up a certain amount of migrants and refugees per day. There is a political debate going on between all the countries on the route as the more southern countries don't want to accept these limitations used by the northern states. Right now, it is hard to anticipate the next steps or if the northern countries will lift/raise the quota anytime soon to facilitate a faster travel within the official transport-system of the "humaitarian corridor”.

Due to the limitations, Croatia slowed down the flow from the border with Serbia, which results in hundreds and eventually thousands of people stranded in the area of Sid/Berkasovo/Bapska/Tovarnik for longer and longer periods of time. While the part of the route on Croatia-Slovenia-Austria part seems to be going well for now as it is organised by state actors - with limited or no access for independent activists and taking away any autonomy of the migrants - we will see how the situation will develop on Croatia-Serbia border.

Situation on route through Slovenia

State authorities established two types of centers, registration centers on the border with Croatia and accommodation centers on the border with Austria. Registration centers are Dolga vas, Petišovci, Središče ob Dravi, Gruškovje and Obrežje. Accommodation centers are Šentilj and Gornja Radgona. Registration centers are under the police authority, accommodation under Civil Protection.

Refugees travel by trains from Croatian Serbian border until Čakovec in Croatia. There they are divided in smaller groups and continue their journey either by buses to Dolga vas, Petišovci, Gruškovje and Obrežje either by train to Središče ob Dravi (the biggest group of around 1200 people). Registration takes place in big tents. Around one person in two minutes. Police takes photo and fingerprints. Although in Petišovci yesterday they did not take fingerprints due to problems with machine. Upon this they issue permit to stay for six months. This is permit issued to person that is in process of deportation but can not be deported for various reasons. It is hard for refugees and migrants to have independent access to information during the registration transit process in this area. There is no wi fi in centers, no chargers for phones, no electricity cables. Translators hired by police are there only to interpret during registration procedures. Permit to stay is only in Slovene and people do not know what this paper is about. In short time they are taken by buses to accommodation centers where they can have rest and are agin quite quickly escorted by foot to Austrian side of the border, where Austrian police receives them and submit them to another registration procedure. Austrian police than transports refugees to Graz and Vienna. It seem that cooperation between Austrian and Slovenia police is strengthened. In registration centers there is presence of Austrian police officers.

Austria - Hungary Border Region

Austrian first reception centers in the north-east on the border to Hungary are being dismantled as this route is not used anymore, no more trains are going to Hegyeshalum (HU) / Nickelsdorf (AUT) border (for now).

Croatia - Opatovac

Transitional camp at Opatovac is filled by more than 5000 refugees, which makes many of them spending night outside as capacity of the camp is reached.

Serbia - Presevo

Waiting hours for refugees to be registered again increased. 3-4 thousands of refugees in a day, taken care by many organizations. Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) already rented a shop in the main street to provide medical help 24/7.

Serbia - Dimitrovgrad

If you are heading to Dimitrovgrad, be prepared for dirty tricks of local taxi drivers as they try to drive people useless ways and charge very high amounts of money! Do not trust these drivers if they offer to bring you to the registration center! In Dimitrovgrad, Refugees are reported to wait many hours there of board buses for further way.

Article published first on 18. Oct 2015 in ::