BELGRADE – The Ministry of the Interior has so far registered 170,000 refugees in Serbia, including 157,000 who expressed intention to apply for asylum.
Around 13,000 refugees face misdemeanor charges for crossing the border illegally, Head of the Border Police Administration Milenko Bozovic said in an interview to the Belgrade-based daily Blic, published on Sunday.
He underlined that so far there had been no major incidents involving the refugees, noting that this was the result of the humane treatment and good control by the Serbian authorities and the refugees’ brief length of stay in the country.
Bozovic specified that the number of migrants entering Serbia over the past month ranged between 2,000 and 4,000 per day, but that lately they started moving faster through Serbia trying to reach Hungary and Croatia as quickly as possible.
The vast majority are the citizens of Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia. So far, the nationals of 91 countries have expressed their intent to apply for asylum, he added.
Serbia most certainly has the legal option to close its borders, but it will not take that step despite the large inflow of migrants, because it respects the international standards and human rights, Bozovic said, stressing that the Serbian borders will remain open to all types of traffic.
Serbia will also provide protection and assistance to all vulnerable categories of migrants who come to the border, regardless of whether they see Serbia as the final destination or simply a transit country, Bozovic said.