Serbia: Need for psychological support for immigrants and refugees

Serbia: Need for psychological support for immigrants and refugees

There has been a recent increase in the number of tensions between refugees and migrants, although this is not uncommon, as general clashes erupt occasionally.

Three days ago, there was a mass clash between immigrants at the Obrenovac reception center, one of the largest centers for asylum seekers, which houses individual immigrants, according to Blic.

According to Rados Jurovic, it is a single center and houses 1,060 persons from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq etc.

Police Chief Vladimir Revic said in a statement to Blic that the clash between the migrants began after allegations of theft of personal belongings, with the army and police forces intervening vigorously and restoring order.

According to Rados Jurovic, “the Bora Markovic barracks in Obrenovac is one of the best known for the clashes that are taking place there”.

“Since its inception, the center has had the most difficult function, due to the fact that there are isolated individuals, young people, mostly men who do not know each other and are very scared”, Jurovic continues.

Fear is the dominant emotion in care centers and that creates tension. Hygiene conditions are also particularly bad at this time of year with the coronavirus pandemic, according to Jurovic.

“They know something is happening and they have been informed about how they should behave when it comes to hygiene rules, but they are not satisfied. “Refugees need psychological help in full quarantine because the camps are overcrowded and people are suffocating, as more than 1,000 people are housed in one place”, Jurovic said, adding that more than 9,000 persons are being accommodated, when the structures were suitable for 6,000 before the pandemic.

Sociologist Vlantimir Vuletic confirmed the need for psychological support for asylum seekers from a sociological point of view because conflicts often occur there.

“The pandemic and the closure of the borders have prevented the achievement of their ultimate goal of reaching some of the developed EU countries. Losing that perspective will undoubtedly revives frustration and ridicules the efforts they have made so far. An unplanned long stay in one place consumes their financial resources, and this is an important factor in frustration”, Vuletic explains.

“The constant stay among them, as well as the limited ability to move in the local environment, encourage immigrants to be aggressive towards each other, because from a sociological point of view, people tend to express their anger and frustration to those closest to them. The spark that ignites the flame could also be completely commonplace, which under normal conditions would not have caused serious clashes”, Vuletic explained.

“There are no guidelines for dealing with such situations, but as with all others who are in such a situation, as much psychological help as possible should be provided. They should also be given some activities that will be part of their daily routine. They must have information that will keep them in a kind of hope that this situation will be overcome and, of course, that there must be some types of sanctions”, Vuletic added.

According to the Commissioner for Immigrants, due to the coronavirus pandemic, migrants in Serbia have been completely isolated from the environment for more than three weeks and in some centers for more than a month.

“Because of the quarantine that is in place there is an increase in unrest, tensions and nervousness in the centers. However, this is neither a reason nor an excuse for violating the provisions of the state of emergency. Due to the high risk to the health of the population, the provisions must be respected by all”, the Commission said in a statement.

That is why the authorities are expected to prosecute all the perpetrators of the riots under the current law, so that it is clear that there will be no tolerance for violations of the state of emergency in the centers in the future./ibna