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Refugee attitudes - Croatia

Citizens of #Croatia are indifferent to the plight of refugees according to a study published by the Centre of Peace Studies in 2018. There has also been a significant increase in the number of Croatian citizens distrusting foreigners and their respective cultures. The shift is seen from the viewpoint of a similar report published in 2013. According to the recent report, many Croatian citizens, which is almost more than half of the total number, believe that a significant number of terrorists are among refugees. The majority of them believe that refugees should return to their countries when the war is over and that young men from #Syria should have stayed back in the war-torn state to fight. These opinions are vital since Croatia, #Greece, and #Romania are constantly pushing back refugees to their war-torn countries without giving any regard to the international principle of non-refoulement.

According to Amsterdam-based investigative news organisation “Lighthouse Reports”, the state authorities including security forces and police from these member states are coordinating to perpetrate violence on refugees such as beating refugees with batons at the European Union’s external borders through illegal pushback operations. It has been stated by the agency that individual masked men speculated to be riot police of Croatia are carrying out the pushback operations under the codename ‘Koridor’ which is partially funded by the #EU. These operations are meant to push back any incoming refugees to Croatia back to Bosnia-Herzegovina. These operations negatively impact the image of refugees in the minds of Croatian citizens because it sends the wrong message that these member states can easily violate the 1951 #Geneva Convention and EU Law. At the same time, it allows them to legitimately hold negative opinions on refugees who are desperately in need of asylum because the states’ policies allow them to do so. This damages the overall discourse of #refugee protection in the EU.

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