Irregular Transit Migration in the Western Balkans

Assessment of Irregular Transit Migration Flows through the Western Balkans

October - December 2012

Topics: Migration.
Programmes: Research.

Mapping the flows of irregular transit migration and asylum seekers over the territory of the Western Balkans (WB) aimed at contributing to the implementation of a coordinated approach of these countries to tackle migration and more successfully decrease irregular migration flows towards the European Union. The report was developed by the IOM office in Serbia, with support of an expert team of SeConS and in close cooperation with IOM country offices of countries covered by mapping: Republic of Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Republic of Croatia, and UNSC Resolution 1244 - Administered Kosovo.

The mapping scope included the following types of migration: illegal entry and stay of foreign citizens and persons without citizenship in the WB, international protection in WB, return of WB nationals according to readmission agreements, trafficking of human beings, smuggling of migrants. Existing reports and studies were examined, data of public authorities was collected, and interviews with representatives of relevant institutions, NGOs, different kind of migrants were conducted.

Obtained data on irregular migration flows was reviewed in the context of legislative, institutional and policy framework in WB countries. It was possible to comparatively overview the situation and trends of irregular migration flows between the countries in the region, but also at the regional level. At the same time, gaps in data were identified and basic recommendations for improving management of irregular migration and international protection in the Western Balkans were given.