Journeys of hope: what will migration routes into Europe look like in 2021? | Global development | The Guardian
“The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 has decreased migration flows along the western Balkan route,” says Nicola Bay, DRC country director for Bosnia. Last year, 15,053 people arrived in BiH, compared with 29,196 in 2019. “But in the absence of real solutions the humanitarian situation for those entering BiH remains unacceptable and undignified.”In December, a fire destroyed a migrant camp in Bosnia, which had been built to contain the spread of Covid-19 among the migrant population. The same day the International Organization for Migration declared the effective closure of the facility. The destruction of the camp, which was strongly criticised by rights groups as inadequate due to its lack of basic resources, has left thousands of asylum seekers stranded in snow-covered forests and subzero temperatures. When countries in the region begin to ease Covid-19 restrictions this year, Bay says it is highly likely there will be a surge of arrivals to BiH, which remains the main transit point for those wanting to reach Europe – a scenario for which the EU and the region remain unprepared.