Croatia, the country that joined the free-movement zone just this year, has been flooded with migrants’ requests for asylum, seeking soaring numbers in the first month of the year alone.
According to the local media in Croatia, a total of 2,500 migrants have crossed the border, of which 1,400 have already filed their requests for asylum, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Zoran Niceno, the Assistant Director General of the Police has revealed that in January alone a total of 1,390 people submitted asylum applications in Croatia, recording a 600 per cent increase compared to the same month last year.
The authority also noted that almost 60 per cent fewer people entered the country unlawfully compared to December and 1,034 police officers were deployed in the border areas in a bid to prevent smuggling and illegal border crossings.
“Thus, we pointed out to the MUP the irregularity that was established in Cetingrad, after which the MUP unreservedly carried out certain disciplinary procedures and sanctioned police officers who, despite the findings of the mechanism, acted contrary to the rules of the service and endangered the safety and health of the persons with whom they were then in contact,” Robert Markt, the Executive President of the Red Cross in Croatia pointed out in this regard.
The country is the first one in the EU to establish police monitoring in collaboration with civil society and the mechanism collects data on human rights violations through e-mails, calls and other communication tools, evaluates and then reacts to them.
Last year, the Croatian government extended the duration of this agreement to 18 months and new features, including the possibility of unannounced visits to the border are expected to be launched.
According to the Croatian Interior Ministry, a total of 3,039 applicants for international protection were submitted in 2021, with the main country of origin being Afghanistan (1,849), followed by Turkey (246), Iraq (225) and Iran (190). In addition, 106 came from Syria (84), Bangladesh (69), Cuba (56), Morocco (30) as well as 27 stateless persons.
Men represented the highest share of applications filed – 60.3 per cent while 39.7 per cent or 1,206 were women. Children represented 986 of 3,039 applicants while unaccompanied children accounted for 6.4 per cent of the total.
Moreover, from February 25 to April 11, 2022, a total of 13,597 displaced persons from Ukraine arrived in the Republic of Croatia, of which 6,666 women (49 per cent), 1,901 men (14 per cent) and 5,030 children (37 per cent).
SOURCE: Schengen Visa Info