Migrants: 4,500 in Serbia, 20% are children

Hosted in 17 centers. 'Balkan route' never completely closed

18 December, 13:40

    (ANSAmed) - BELGRADE, DECEMBER 18 - There are currently 4,500 immigrants in Serbia staying at 17 hosting centers, the Serbian commissioner for refugees said on Wednesday, International Migrants Day. A reported 20% are children, including 5% who are unaccompanied minors. The majority of migrants are citizens of Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Iraq and Bangladesh. Over the course of this year, the commissioner said, 220 migrants applied for asylum in Serbia and 32 were successful. The commissioner stressed the work carried out by Serbian authorities in assisting the most vulnerable refugees, mainly children, unaccompanied minors, women, seniors and the sick.

    Although the so-called 'Balkan route' was officially closed in March 2016 - after the dramatic crisis that in a few months saw over one million Middle Eastern and Asian refugees march towards western Europe - the itinerary is still chosen by thousands of migrants trying to reach the European Union.

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