Medecines Sans Frontieres
One of nearly two thousand migrants, mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, who are sleeping rough in a large brick warehouse knows the Barracks of Belgrade just behind the City’s main transport hub. Temperatures at this time of year can drop to -16 so the migrants burn toxic creosote-soaked railway sleepers to try and keep warm. The Barracks of Belgrade is part of an ongoing project covering the refugee crisis in Europe. Nearly 2000 migrants, mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan were living in a series of large brick warehouses known as the Barracks tucked away behind the city’s main transport hub. When I visited in February 2017 the temperature had dropped to minus 16 degrees so the migrants were burning highly toxic creosote-soaked railway sleepers to try and stay alive. The Serbian Government requested charities to stop giving out aid so as not to encourage more arrivals so these people had no toilets, no water and no beds. They were living amongst human excrement amid piles of stinking rubbish. It was possibly one of the most desperate situations I’ve seen. As the borders of Europe had been slammed shut smugglers were their only hope of escape. I photographed many people who had made a break for the border only to be captured and beaten by the police. They told me stories of how they had their phones - their lifeline to their world back home - smashed by the authorities and their shoes removed so they were forced to walk barefoot back through the snow to the Barracks. Image on behalf of Grazia and Save the Children
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