From 11th to 15th of this month, the Creative Camp is taking place in Kaštel Kambelovac. It is held as part of the „Good hosts“ campaign. The Creative camp is carried out with the help of citizens who donated money, volunteers, associate organizations and the media who supported the campaign. Creative Camp is hosting children who are in the process of seeking international protection and who are currently placed in Reception Center in Zagreb, and the Camp itself is an opportunity for this children to be creative and to experience fun holidays. In Kaštel Kambelovac, there are 25 children and 5 adult asylum seekers (parents) supported by 7 volunteers, who take care of the realization of the program and the needs of the participants. The program of the Creative Camp is also intended for all visitors and residents of Kaštel Kambelovac.
The campaign “Good hosts” was launched by the music band Kries in cooperation with several organizations: Are You Syrious, Welcome! Initiative, SOLIDARNA – Foundation for human rights and solidarity and Solidarity Coalition Split. The campaign was supported by donations of 283 citizens and who together, as good hosts, jointly collected a total of HRK 206,000 (almost EUR 28,000) to support the creative needs of young refugees and young people without adequate parental care that enrich our lives through their creation.
Over the past few months, Germany, Austria and Slovenia are returning refugees who passed through so called “Balkan Route” during the years 2015 and 2016 to Croatia. So far at least 1500 refugees have been returned to Croatia. 920 of came back from Germany, 494 from Austria, and 15 from Slovenia. The number is almost equal to the number of refugees – around 1600 – which Croatia needs to receive from Greece and Italy by EU relocation scheme. The German Ministry of Internal Affairs states that Croatia this year has requested to accept 1109 cases under the Dublin Regulation. Austrian Ministry of Internal Affairs states that in the first half of this year, 494 people were returned to Croatia. But what is interesting is that they do not make a difference between refugees who arrived to Slovenian border with the transport which was organized by Croatia during the so called “Balkan Route” and those who arrived in other ways through Croatia in Austria. Slovenian authorities state that they have sent seven people to Croatia last year according to the Dublin Regulation, and this year they have sent eight people.
By late August 2015, Germany announced that the Dublin Regulation, which states that refugees arriving in the European Union should register and apply for asylum in the first country of the European Union to which they have entered or must be returned to the first country of entry, ceases to apply. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has suspended the provisions of this agreement for the Syrians because of the war in Syria, which has driven hundreds of thousands of people, proclaiming it a measure of “European solidarity” that would reduce pressure on Italy, Greece and Hungary. Following this call, on the road to Germany there were not only the Syrians, but also a large number of Iraqis, Afghans and others. Two years later, the European Court expressed a completely different view of the positions that their spokesperson for the European Commission had two years ago. At the expense of Croatia, the Court ruled that even then Dublin Regulation should have been respected. Slovenia and Austria returned asylum seekers who came there through Croatia.
Croatia is treated as the country of first entry for those who went through “Balkan Route” and who went across Greece because Greece was excluded from the rules imposed by the Dublin Regulation (inhuman treatment of asylum seekers) In November 2016, the EC recommended that Greece should be included in Dublin since March, but the decision does not apply retroactively, and applies to refugees who arrived in the EU since March this year.
Since May, at the Croatian border there is increasing violence against refugees who intend to pursue asylum in Croatia. Many who found themselves in this situation were illegally detained and they testify of police brutality, beating and hitting all over the body, or pulling on the ground. People from the border often return with injuries that require medical intervention or hospitalization. There are testimonies on police violence, offences and theft of money and cell phones, violations of privacy rights by viewing private conversations and cell phone messages, photographing injuries resulting from beatings. After humiliating and beating refugees Croatian police takes the refugees to the border and expel them on the territory of Serbia with almost no exception.
Germany is preparing to deport asylum seekers to Greece after the five-year suspension of the EU’s Dublin Regulation has been completed. The suspension was on power due to the very poor conditions for refugees and human rights abuses in Greece. So far, Greece has received 392 requests from Germany, and deportations will only cover those refugees who arrived in Germany after March 15th.