The preventive approach to protecting the human rights of refugees and migrants in the countries of South Eastern Europe was the theme of the meeting of South-East Europe National Prevenitve Mechanisms Network (SEE NPM Network), held on 13 and 14 December 2016 in Belgrade.
Deputy Ombudsman Milos Jankovic at the meeting stressed that Europe did not bring a uniform policy for addressing migrant crisis, but the countries were protecting their own interests. Janković said that during 2015, nearly one million people passed through our country. Serbia, in its liberal approach, enabled the smooth entry and passage of refugees and migrants through the country. As he said, NPM's are one of the few institutions in the countries of Eastern Europe, who have done their job within its mandate - followed the attitude of state authorities towards refugees, and whether there has been abuse of these people.
On the first day of the meeting members of the Network shared experiences from visits of the shelters in countries of origin, as well as future plans and challenges related to the protection and promotion of the rights of refugees and migrants. After the presentation, the meeting participants, divided into two groups, visited the Asylum Center in Krnjaca, as well as an informal meeting place for migrants in Belgrade. On the second day, members of the Network shared their impressions and observations from visits in Belgrade and discussed the future challenges in the work of the Network, after which some further steps of NPM's in the region were appointed, in relation to the prevention of abuse of refugees and migrants.
The regional meeting of the Network was organized by the Serbian Ombudsman in cooperation with the UN Office in Serbia and the participants were representatives of the members of the Network, as well as representatives of associations from Serbia.