UN secretary-general condemns filtering of migrant flow on Balkan route

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemns the conduct of countries along the Balkan migrant route that are allowing only the passage to western Europe of refugees coming from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the UN said on Tuesday.

Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia have started to filter the migrant flow by allowing only refugees fleeing wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to cross their territory on their way to western Europe because they consider them real asylum seekers rather than economic migrants.

"Profiling asylum seekers on the basis of their alleged nationality infringes the human right of all people to seek asylum, irrespective of their nationality and to have their individual cases heard," the UN chief said in a statement issued by his press office, according to Reuters.

Balkan countries have clamped down at their borders recently to stem what has been an anarchic, largely unchecked stream of humanity into Europe this year, says Reuters.

Among those stuck in border zones between the Balkan countries are Iranians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis.

The UNHCR warned earlier that banning migrants to enter a country based only on their nationality constituted violation of international law.

Calling on states to apply border procedures that are in line with international law on refugees and human rights, Ban urged nations to "respond with compassion, solidarity and shared responsibility." 

Last update: Wed, 25/11/2015 - 08:44

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