About 1,000 refugees and migrants sleep in abandoned warehouses, train wagons and shacks behind the central train station in Belgrade, Serbia’s capital. Heaps of garbage and feces pile up next to the blankets that have been their home for the past months. Almost all of them are boys and young men from conflict-torn parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. To keep warm, they make fires out of garbage and railway sleepers. One can smell the toxic smoke hundreds of yards from the train station, where life goes on unaffected. The borders to Hungary and Croatia are closed, so the refugees are stranded at the doorstep of the European Union. Some have tried to cross the border as many as 20 times, but they are usually caught by police, beaten and sent back to Belgrade. Serbia has gone from being a transit point on the Balkan route to becoming a terminal one. Belgrade’s railway station has become an unintended destination.
Made in cooperation with Ulrik Hasemann.
Published in The Washington Post