Thursday Thirteen

1. Today is World Refugee Day!
I know this is not popular and entertaining topic for TT but considering that I live in the country with the biggest refugee population in Europe I just couldn’t ignore this day.

2. According to UNO today there are more than 30 million people who are trying to get some help from UNHCR. The biggest increase of the number of refugees is consequence of escalation of conflicts in Iraq. In Europe (as I said) Serbia has the biggest number of refugees: more than 300000 (including refugees from Kosovo).
3. 1999 during and especially after NATO aggression on Serbia and installation of UN forces on Kosovo according to UNHCR more than 700000 people (mainly Serbs) have left the province. 4. Since then many of them has been integrated, found job and don’t have refugee status. The ones that are still ‘refugees’ are living on the edge of poverty.

5. Today states and international organizations are showing less interest on the situation in Serbia and are focusing their activities on other crisis regions in the world. 6. As of yet, the economy of Serbia has not reached a level of growth that can compensate for the cancellation of foreign humanitarian assistance, and finding solutions to reduce poverty and solve the problems of these vulnerable groups. That has not been a political priority in Serbia with its economical problem after years under sanctions and wars.

7. According to an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) report, the position of refugees in Serbia has worsened when compared with previous years. 8. The factors that contributed to this worsening were: exhaustion of funds and property which they had brought with themselves, problems in utilizing the property they had left behind in Kosovo (Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina), their inability to use social benefits, the closure of collective centers and termination of humanitarian help.
9. These people cannot return to their homes because of safety reasons, although they have been rebuilt and are certainly more comfortable compared with their temporary accommodation.
Also huge problem is accommodation and how to find job.

10. I should stress that many western (rich) countries have adopted much more restrictive policy for accepting refugees, especially after 9/11. Public opinion in those countries are associating by default refugee with terrorist and actually seeing threats in their presence.

11. It seems that is the easiest way: helping in creating conflict and then being ignorant.
12. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not neglecting all humanitarian work of international organizations and foreign governments but I’m speaking from perspective of my country. Namely now if you start looking for informations about refugees you’ll find information from Africa and Middle East mainly. Not that I think they shouldn’t
be mentioned, on the contrary but it is very strange that Serbia as a country with so many problems and in spite them with the highest number of refugees has been ignored completely. And especially now when USA and EU are forcing independence for Kosovo; they completely ignoring the fact that almost 700000 refugees from the province cannot come back because of safety reasons. And that will surely not change if Kosovo become independent. On the contrary…

13. But it seems that is politic and international law/justice nowadays…

(PS
My apologize to everyone who have left comments here and whose blogs I can’t visit. Namely I still have problem to open certain blogs (not all) on blogger.)