We, the front-line volunteers and activists, who for years now have been stepping in and picking up the slack in lieu of governments, the UN and other international organizations when it comes to the alleviation of the situation in which hundreds and thousands of people along the Balkan route find themselves in, are decisively and unequivocally raising our voices against the inhuman treatment of our fellow human beings that is taking place along the Balkan route – and beyond.
It is the obligation of the governments of our countries, the UN and other responsible organizations to ensure safe and legal passage for every person who is driven to leave their home for reasons of war, instability, environmental degradation, or economic oppression; to ensure every person’s right to legally seek asylum; and for those who today find themselves on the dangerous route, to be provided with adequate, humane and efficient aid.
We call upon our fellow citizens to join us in our efforts to demand that these obligations be respected.
Let us remind ourselves that it is the involvement of European elites in colonisation, imperialism and waging today’s wars across the world that has brought on the destruction of lives, homes, livelihoods and entire societal structures for the benefits of the few. It is by the decision of political elites today’s borders are shutting down. They build fences, put on razor wires, they bring heavy weapons and arms to our borders, they dehumanize the refugees and they co-opt us into fascism and racism. They sign shameful agreements with Turkey, Libya and Niger, putting millions of people in great danger, pushing them into slavery and robbing them of their right to life – and they claim it is on our behalf. What they are doing is stripping our societies of solidarity with our fellow human beings!
People, children, are dying – at sea, in rivers, in woods, on streets and borders, due to cold, police brutality, untreated diseases, or simply from exhaustion. Often their deaths are direct consequences of illegal and violent push-backs that are happening along our borders every day and every night – and still no one has been held responsible for them.
This is unacceptable! This is inhumane!
The countries along the route, and further, cannot use lack of resources as an excuse for this disgraceful and inhumane treatment of people in need. They cannot trade the lives of refugees entering the EU or Schengen border zone, for simply accessing more European funds. The EU is waging a war against refugees through the militarization and fortification of its borders. Countries in the Balkans, who are not yet part of the EU, are now the new frontline of this EU war against refugees, which can be clearly read in the new EU Strategy for the countries of the Balkans.
These governments together with the EU are now accomplices with and participants in police brutality, and they stand responsible for thousands of refugees’ death at sea and at land.
A significant portion of this region suffered immensely during the wars in the nineties. It continues to suffer from the consequences of those wars, and, as such, those from here know first-hand what it means to be forced to leave one’s home, to seek shelter in foreign countries, and how difficult and painful that experience is. When the political elites strip our societies of solidarity, they attempt to strip us of our own experiences of forced displacement and seeking refuge, effectively whitewashing their participation and erasing the pain of millions of us.
Along the Balkan route, activists from around the world, along with the local population, have been providing the aid that is absent from governments and the UN. It is the local population that have fed, kept warm and sheltered these people in need. They have provided them with information and acted as a referral mechanism. They have raised funds. But most importantly, they have showed the refugees going through some of the most difficult periods in their lives, warmth and solidarity!
Thus, we stand united, across borders:
Opposing the militarization and fortification of our borders – we demand safe passage and the right for every person to seek asylum and protection!
Opposing ruthlessness, brutality and inhumanity of repressive state apparatuses – we demand respect and protection of human dignity and we stand united in our belief that no human is illegal and everybody has the right to a decent life!
Opposing the dehumanizing propaganda of fear – we welcome our fellow human beings from across the world; we cherish the experiences they bring with them, and we look forward to sharing our communities with them.
Opposing the antagonism and racism shown towards people in need, we stand united in our belief that it is only through solidarity and decency that we can build societies that are free and equal.
- Are You Syrious?
- Center for Peace Studies (CMS)
- Action from Switzerland
- Sarajevski otvoreni centar SOC
- Souls of Sarajevo
- Souls of Sarajevo Team Kladuša
- Border Crossing Spielfeld Austria
- Studenti za izbjeglice, Zagreb
- Catch a Smile, Luxembourg
- No Name Kitchen, Serbia
- Hope Café, Kipseli, Athens
- Centar za kulturnu i medijsku dekontaminaciju Sarajevo
- EFM RADIO Sarajevo
- Centar za mlade “KVART” Prijedor
- Glocal Roots, Switzerland
- Athens Legal Support Team
- Khora Support Denmark
- Ospiti in Arrivo
- Refugee Info Bus
- Inicijativa Dobrošli
- Info Park Belgrade
- Univerza v Ljubljani, Fakulteta za socialno delo, učiteljice in učitelji Katedre za duševno zdravje v skupnosti in Katedre8 za proučevanje družbene pravičnosti in vključevanja
- Inicijativa “Jer me se tiče”
- Feministički antimilitaristički kolektiv FAK
- Front slobode
- Radnički univerzitet Tuzla
- Škola udruženog rada (Bihać-Kulen Vakuf – Tuzla)
- Documenta – Centar za suočavanje s prošlošću
- Delovna skupina za azil
- Ambasada Rog
- Društvo za nenasilno komunikacijo
- Association for promotion of women’s action – Tiiiit! Inc. Skopje
- HOLDS Foundation, UK
- Jedan grad, jedna borba
- Tuzlanski otvoreni centar
- Omladinska pokret Revolt
- Ženska mreža BiH
- NVO “Centar za ženska prava”
- Khora Community Center, Athens
- Oštra nula
- NoBorders Athens
- Društvo Humanitas
- Black Lives Matter, Denmark
- Lezbično-feministična univerza, Ljubljana
- Lungo la Rotta Balcanica – Along the balkan Route, Venice
- Udruženje Okvir
- Udruženje Centar za promociju mentalnog zdravlja “Smisao”, Tuzla
- Удружење грађана “Срце на длану” Бања Лука
- CET platforma Tuzla
- Međunarodni centar za djecu i omladinu “Fortis”
- Savez za povratak izbjeglih i raseljenih Bosanske Posavine
- Centar za edukaciju i istraživanje Nahla
- Međunarodni centar za mir
- Građansko udruženje žena “Duvanjke”
- Centar za demokratiju i tranzicionu pravdu
- TPO Fondacija
- Žene ženama
- Udruženje ZGRADE
- Udruženje za istraživanje i društvene inovacije “ADT”
- Udruženje “Žene sa Une”
- Centar za istraživanje u politici Argument
- Udruženje Orhideja Stolac
- Udruženje “Alternative” Kakanj
- Planinarsko društvo Glasinac
- Centar za sigurnosne studije
- Organizacija Glas žene
- Odisej Bratunac
- Društvo za pomoč in samopomoč brezdomcev Kralji ulice, Slovenija
- No border craft, delovna skupina za ženske, Ljubljana
- Afkors, anarho-kvir feministični kolektiv, Ljubljana
- Let’s Help Together Association (Segítsünk Együtt Egyesület)
- Refugee Hotel City Plaza, Athens
- Network for migrants and refugees, Greece
- Fondacija CURE, Sarajevo, BIH