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International conference on migration in the Western Balkans


The international conference “Migration in the Western Balkans – rethinking crisis narratives”, within the Migration, Integration and Governance Research Center project (MIGREC), was held at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade, from February 2 to 3, 2023.

The representative of the Red Cross of Serbia Nataša Todorović participated in the Policy panel on February 3rd together with Miroslava Jelačić, Group 484, Milena Timotijević, UNICEF Office in Belgrade, Ljubinka Mitrović, UNHCR Office in Belgrade. The representative of the Red Cross of Serbia pointed out that migration is a complex phenomenon without one single root cause. Urbanisation is one of the lead causes of migration, not only in Serbia but at global level too. 

It is a global trend not likely to be reversed in the foreseeable future and one of its negative effects is creating pockets of depopulation across national territories where the average age of the population is much higher than the national average.

Therefore, the work of the Red Cross focusing on migration has several different approaches. One is providing direct support to migrants coming to Serbia and passing through it on their way to Western Europe, but also by providing support to areas in Serbia that experience the negative effects of internal migration. We adopt rights-based approach in all our work. So, migrants coming to and passing through Serbia should be able to access to their guaranteed rights and we work to contribute to this end. But equally, people living in depopulated areas in Serbia should be able to access to their guaranteed rights too and internal migrations and depopulation make it increasingly more difficult. The Red Cross works with these communities too, striving to find their hidden capacities and mobilise them.