Academic journal article Refuge

Forced Migrants in Serbia: Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons-Facts and Figures, Coping Strategies, Future

Academic journal article Refuge

Forced Migrants in Serbia: Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons-Facts and Figures, Coping Strategies, Future

Article excerpt

The paper deals with refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). Considering their numbers, Serbia is the first in Europe and fourteenth on the globe. Their destiny is not only a tragic epilogue to the political dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, but also to the breakdown of the common dream of "Yugoslav" nationality (which was meant to be a "melting pot" of various nations, ethnic groups, and -religions). Unfortunately, due to the specific strategy of nation-state building based on ethnic cleansing, refugees were one of the direct objectives of civil wars taking place in the 1990s. At the same time, massive floods of IDPs were instigated by the bombing campaign of Kosovo and Metohija conducted by the NATO alliance in 1999.

Having come to Serbia, the majority of both refugees and IDPs who are ethnic Serbs have attained all the features of minority groups. The reasons for their social exclusion must be discussed in terms of their exceptionally low social position, high levels of unemployment and poverty, and lack of social inclusion. Moreover, it must be taken into account that contemporary Serbia faced many unresolved political challenges, delayed accession to the EU, secession of Kosovo and Metohija in 2008, hardships in establishing a market economy and liberal democracy since 2000, and economic deprivation, all of which were accompanied by poor social services.

Serbian authorities adopted four major action plans targeted at forced migrants.

However, the main challenges to their applicability stem from lack of institutional capacities, ineffective implementation of development strategies, and limited resources.


La Serbie occupe le premier rang en Europe et le quatorzieme rang sur terre parmi les pays ayant le plus de refugies et de deplaces internes. Leur destin n'est pas seulement l'epilogue tragique de la dissolution politique de l'ex-Yougoslavie, mais aussi de la fin du reve commun d'une nationalite << yougoslave >> (censee etre un << melting pot >> de differentes nations, groupes ethniques et religions). Malheureusement, en raison d'une strategie de construction d'Etat-nation fondee sur le nettoyage ethnique, les refugies ont ete l'un des objectifs directs des guerres civiles se deroulant dans les annees 1990. En meme temps, un massif afflux de personnes deplacees a ete suscite par la campagne de bombardement menee par I'OTAN au Kosovo-et-Metochie en 1999.

Venue en Serbie, la majorite des refugies et des deplaces internes Serbes ethniques ont pourtant atteint toutes les caracteristiques des groupes minoritaires. Les raisons de leur exclusion sociale doivent etre examinees en fonction de leur rang social exceptionnellement bas, de taux de chomage et de pauvrete eleves et d'une absence d'inclusion sociale. En outre, il faut prendre en consideration les nombreux defis politiques non resolus qui confrontent la Serbie contemporaine, le retardement de son adhesion a l'Union europeenne, la secession du Kosovo-et-Metochie en 2008, les difficultes a etablir une economie de marche et instaurer la democratie liberale depuis 2000 et, enfin, des privations economiques, le tout accompagne par des services sociaux inadequats.

Les autorites serbes ont adopte quatre importants plans d'action destines aux migrints forces. Toutefois, les principaux defis a leur applicabilite proviennent d'un manque de capacite institutionnelle, d'une mise en oeuvre inejficace de strategies de developpement et d'un manque de ressources.


According to a report in 2009 by the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR), contemporary Serbia hosts the largest number of refugees and internally displaced persons in Europe (and is ranked fourteenth on the globe). Besides them, there are a great number of victims of transit trafficking and smuggling across the borders, consisting predominantly of women, children, and young adults. …

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