According to UNHCR statistics, there were approximately 7,650 migrants in Serbia at the end of February 2017, a slight decrease compared to the previous month. Around 86% of those were accommodated in one of the 17 reception centres across Serbia, while the rest resided in deserted domiciles near the main bus station in Belgrade or in improvised shelters near the Hungarian border. Hungarian authorities admitted 31 asylum seekers into procedures at their “transit zones” near Kelebija and Horgoš border crossings. During the same period, over 870 persons informed UNHCR and partners to have been denied access to asylum procedures in Hungary, but instead been collectively expelled back into Serbia.

According to the Asylum Office’s statistics, 502 persons expressed their intention to seek asylum in Serbia, of which the majority came from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, similarly to before. Among this number there were 218 children, including 7 boys from Afghanistan, Algeria, Libya and Pakistan who were not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

In February, the Asylum Office registered 54 individuals who expressed their intention to seek asylum in the previous period, 53 individuals submitted asylum applications, while 17 interviews were conducted with asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Burundi, Iraq, Iran, Cameroon, Syria and Somalia. In addition, the Asylum Office rejected 7 asylum claims submitted by individuals from Afghanistan, Ghana, Croatia, Macedonia, Mexico and Russia. Four asylum procedures concerning 11 individuals from Afghanistan, Iran, Russia and Syria were suspended. As in the previous month, there were no positive decisions made on any asylum claims, which means that the total number of accepted asylum and subsidiary protection claims remain unchanged at 41 and 49 respectively.