On 11th April Dr Gemma Bird of Liverpool University gave a public talk on ‘Refugee Journeys through the Balkan Routes’ at Europe House in Valletta. The talk centred on recent changes in EU border management that have limited refugees’ movement across Europe, and as such, have resulted in outsourcing of refugee settlement and care to states previously described as ‘transit’ countries along the Balkan Route(s): Serbia, and Greece. The problems related to refugee provisions and accommodation in these countries and along the Balkan Route(s) towards Western Europe was discussed, highlighting the disparity of refugee services, housing and living conditions across the region, and acute and ongoing humanitarian crises. Based on the findings of a co-authored report written by Gemma Bird, Amanda Russell Beattie, Patryzia Rozbicka and Jelena Obradovic Wochnik the talk discussed the key factors affecting poor living conditions for refugees, including: overcrowding, fragmentation of services along the routes, and a lack of consistency in camp management.

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